UK
24/07/2013 08:27 BST | Updated 24/07/2013 08:28 BST

Horse Drowns After Woman Takes It Swimming In Cornwall Sea

A horse has drowned after panicking when its owner took it swimming in the sea, coastguards said.

The horse and rider entered water off the beach of Marazion in Cornwall to cool down yesterday afternoon.

But the animal became alarmed and began swimming out into deep water.

marazion

The beach of Marazion in Cornwall, south west England

The rider was able to dismount but could not reach the horse, despite a number of attempts.

Horrified onlookers called the emergency services and coastguards, rescue teams and lifeguards attended the incident at 1.30pm.

When the crews arrived, the horse was lost to view and its body was not recovered until an hour and a half later.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: "The horse and rider were in the water to cool down.

"The horse became quite flustered and the rider managed to get off but the horse went further out to sea.

"Falmouth Coastguard requested that the Penzance rescue team went to the scene.

"The rider was unhurt but efforts were made to recover the horse to shore.

"When the crews were trying to bring it back to shore, they believed it was deceased.

"The horse was recovered at 3pm."

An eyewitness who rang the coastguard told the Cornishman: "The people who swam after him were in fear of their own lives and even though one person reached him, he was already gone. Such a tragic accident."