A female mallard duck in Scotland was recently plucked from the jaws of death by two engineers after being sucked in from the sea through a pipe into a power station's water tower.
The men, using only a rope, a couple of coat hangers and a healthy dose of Scottish ingenuity, rescued the duck after workers at Cockenzie Power Station in East Lothian heard a distressed squawking inside the tower at 8:00 a.m. The frightened duck was bobbing around 20 feet down inside the shaft, in imminent danger of getting squashed in the crushing machine.
The workers immediately contacted the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) to help rescue the duck.
"When the SSPCA had difficulty, we called the fire brigade around lunchtime but they found the situation impossible as well because [the duck] kept diving away from their nets," according to a spokesperson for Scottish Power, which owns the power station.
Seven hours later, the duck was still enduring her terrifying ordeal. But at last, engineers Brian McEwan, 50, and Jimmy Miller, 55, came up with an ingenious solution.
"They put a piece of rope with a lasso inside a 25-foot long piece of pipe to stop it from blowing about. They managed to hoop it over the bird's neck and pulled it back up the shaft gently so as not to injure the creature," the Scottish Power spokesman said.
"It was getting a bit dodgy as the turbulence was sloshing her around," said McEwan. "We were quite relieved when we managed to use the lasso to get her out."
After rescuing the duck, workers named her "Lucky" and handed her over to the SSPCA, who returned her to the sea.
"Lucky has now been released back beside her friends," an SSPCA spokeswoman said.