Chittering Valley farmer sails to the rescue of sheep and lambs

Rowe’s lamb: Farmer and councillor Murray Rowe. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Rowe’s lamb: Farmer and councillor Murray Rowe. Picture: Bruce Hunt

CHITTERING Valley farmer Murray Rowe came to the rescue of his flock of sheep and baby lambs aboard a most unusual rescue craft – his old wind rush catamaran.

The recent downpours had dumped 150mm of water into the Brockman River which runs through his farm, turning the lowest land into a waist-high lake.

Mr Rowe, a Subiaco pharmacist, councillor and former deputy mayor from Dalkeith, had gone to the farm to check his cattle – all were safe on the higher ground – but discovered his sheep and three sets of twin lambs marooned on an island surrounded by the fast-moving torrent of the swollen river.

“Lifting the adult sheep on to the catamaran was quite difficult,” the 64-year-old said.

“First I had to catch them, tie their legs”, and with help from his friend Michael Byrne, “prop up the fence so I could carry them under. It was not that simple though as their wool was saturated making them very heavy.

“My beef cattle are the business side of the farm; the sheep are really just lawn mowers keeping down the grass in the orchard.

“But they still had to be rescued. The soaking wet young lambs would have died from exposure if left trapped on the island.

“This is the third time since I’ve owned the farm that it has flooded to this extent, although not quite as bad as the last time 22 years ago.”

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