Curious cat rescued after he fell 40ft into River Mersey

A cat which had fallen 40ft into the River Mersey had to be rescued by the RSPCA and fire service water team – and was then returned to his grateful owner.

A member of the public spotted the cat perched on a small piece of concrete in the river at Priory Wharf near Woodside Ferry Terminal on Tuesday (13th April) and alerted the RSPCA.

Animal rescuer, Inspector Leanne Cragg was sent to the scene and could see the frightened cat on a small wall in the river. There was no access down to the area and as the light was fading and the tide was about to come in she called Merseyside Fire and Rescue for help at about 8.30pm.

Firefighters called on their marine rescue unit and the team used a boat to get close to the cat, called Ollie. One of the firefighters then used a water sled to access the frightened feline, which he managed to safely grab.

Ollie the cat (aged 1) was taken to shore and placed in a cage which was then winched up the river wall to Leanne – much to the delight of his owner Emma Tarpey.

Leanne gave Ollie a quick check over and he seemed to be uninjured from his fall but rushed him to a vet for a thorough check over – and miraculously he was found to be uninjured from his ordeal.

Leanne said: “It was a fantastic team effort and I am so grateful to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue for their help. I was concerned for the cat’s safety as I knew the tide was about to come in and it gets very high in that area and it was also getting dark. There was no safe route to get to Ollie so the fire crew suggested using their specialist water team who did a great job. As the firefighter got close Ollie moved towards him and meowed and was happy to get into his arms – he knew he was going to be safe. Emma was delighted to have Ollie back and it was so nice to see the pair reunited. He is a very lucky cat – it was such a big fall and to come through the whole incident unscathed is amazing.”

Ollie’s owner Emma was only aware of his predicament when a neighbour saw what was happening and went to tell her.

She said: “I was so shocked when I found out and I ran straight over to where he was and Parsley (his brother) was nearby meowing to him. I was so happy when the fireman scooped him into his arms. I think he certainly lost one of his nine lives during this incident and as he doesn’t go out much, we are going to keep him as a house cat to protect him, especially as he is deaf. I am so grateful to everyone who helped in the rescue. The RSPCA and fire crews were fantastic, and I am just grateful to the person who spotted him and reported the incident.”