Police appeal over dead swan and speeding boats in Pulborough

Sussex Police are appealing for information after reports of a dead swan and boats speeding along the River Arun on Monday morning.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 2:31 pm

Shocked residents told this newspaper they were furious when two inflatable boats were spotted going through the village at high speed.

Dee Carol said she first saw the boats ‘going incredibly fast’ on the water near Lower Street at around 10.30am. “Ahead of them were a couple of swans frantically trying to fly out of their reach,” she said.

“The boats were side by side so the swans had nowhere to go. They were flapping trying to get out of the way. The swans must have been panicking. It was crazy.”

A swan was found dead in the River Arun at Pulborough SUS-200617-111353001

She said about an hour later she spotted what she thought was debris on the river, but looking through her binoculars believes it was a swan.

“It was dead, with its neck broken and its wings at angles,” she said. “To say I’m angry is an understatement.”

She said she feared the wash from the speeding boats would also have destroyed a number of wildlife habitats along the river.

Other residents are also incensed at the incident. One woman said it was the latest in a number of dangerous incidents on the waterway.

She said there was “village uproar caused by two maniacs chasing each other up and down the river in motor boats at terrifying speed.”

Another woman described herself as ‘saddened and furious at the same time.’

And another said the incident was ‘awful’ and queried: “What is the matter with people?”

Residents say they have reported the incident to police, the RSPCA and RSPB.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police received a third-party report of a dead swan on the River Arun at Pulborough, on Monday (June 15).

“Anyone with any information about the matter is asked to contact police online quoting serial 604 of 15/06.”

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