A chance sighting of a fire engine on a bridge over the River Wear turned into a scoop for freelance photographer Keith Taylor.
County Durham-based Keith Taylor was on his way to a routine photocall at the county council offices when he drove past a firecrew observing a black and white cat trapped at the foot of a 30 foot bridge surrounded by onrushing water.
Keith initially thought it was “a bit of a non-story” and left to go, but said “instinct” made him return to the scene.
He then discovered a full-scale rescue operation under way in which the fire brigade’s specialist water unit waded across the flood-swollen river to rescue the stranded creature.
Said Keith: “I thought the site of a cat on the bridge footing and an RSPCA man and a fireman looking down on the creature a bit of a non news story, so I left the scene to go to Durham County Hall where I was booked to photograph a Police Officer and a member of the public receiving a Royal Humane Society Award.
“Just as I left the scene, instinct made me turn round and go back. I am pleased I did – as I re-arrived on the scene so did a party of Fire and Rescue Water Specialists arrived with all the kit and a full blown rescue took place.”
The resulting pictures were used both by the Northern Echo and the Daily Mail, which devoted almost a whole page to the story.
Added Keith: “I still made my appointment at County Hall with time to spare.”