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Watch as hero saves drowning duck tangled in plastic on Scots canal

This is the moment a West Lothian man jumped into a canal to save the life of a drowning duck.

Members of the public spotted the bird in difficulty on Linlithgow canal after it became tangled in discarded plastic.

Fearing it was about to die, quick-thinking Allan Horne raced to his house where he quickly changed clothes before bolting back to the scene.

After being unable to reach the bird from the riverbank, Allan heroically leapt into the water where he managed to reach the stricken animal and freed it using a pair of scissors.

Onlooker Lindsay Falconer, who took the video, said: “My husband had taken our dog Selkie out for his walk when he saw the duck in distress.

The bird swam away after Allan freed it was from the plastic rubbish

“He hurried home to tell me and, armed with scissors, we hurried to see if we could free it.

“Unfortunately it was on the far side of the canal and we couldn’t access the duck from Rosemount Park.

“We were watching it from the towpath, discussing what to do and wondering if it had, in fact, died when Allan, who was sitting on the bench at the Canal Terrace cottages, joined the conversation.

“To see if the duck had died, he gently threw a stone in its direction and it flapped. We talked about needing to find someone with a boat to get across.

“Suddenly Allan stood up, disappeared into his house and came back out having changed.

“He got into the water, swam to the duck and the rest is as you could see in the video. He is definitely a Local hero. Brave man.”

Allan Horne has been recognised with a local hero award
Allan Horne has been recognised with a local hero award

Modest Allan, who has previously worked with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), added: “I noticed the duck when I was walking home along the canal.

“It was flapping its wings and I could see clearly it was snagged on something.

“I initially tried to reach it from the other side of the canal but couldn’t get across to it, so I just went in the canal and swam over to it.”

Allan has since been awarded a Westport Veterinary Clinic’s Local Hero Award which was created to recognise and honour acts of kindness in our local community.

A spokesperson for the vet practise added: “Allan’s act of kindness is a wonderful example of what Local Heroes are.

“His quick thinking and compassion saved the life of local wildlife, which without his help, could not have been freed from the plastic in the water. Well Done Allan.

“We also like to give credit to Lindsay and Fraser Falconer who also were planning a rescue mission when they noticed the duck in distress.

“The world needs more people like you all in it.”

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