"The heifer had fallen into the river and been washed downstream along the River Exe tributary," Donohue said. "Debris from the storm had pinned her against the bank so she was struggling to get out and couldn't keep her head above the 6-foot-deep water."
Donohue arrived at the scene and summoned the local fire and rescue service, which sent a crew to the scene. The crew sent for a specialist water and animal rescued team.
"I got into the water in my drysuit and managed to get a line around her. Then we performed a front assist rescue by pulling her free and up the bank," Donohue said.
He said it took the team of 12 rescuers about two hours to get the Friesan heifer back to dry land.
"She was absolutely exhausted but, thankfully, wasn't injured. We took the fence down and got her back into her field before building the fence again and contacting the farmer to let him know what had happened," the rescuer said.