Eddie, a horse in Wyoming, survived a 3.3-mile swim through an irrigation tunnel after being sucked into the intake valve. Eddie was found — relatively unscathed — two days after disappearing under water.
The 9-year old Arabian gelding was being ridden along the Shoshone river when he and his 16-year old rider, Joshua Black, and a friend found a swampy part. The boys were leading their horses to drier land when the ground under Eddie caved in and the horse and boy went into the river.
Although Joshua and his friend almost got the horse out twice, Eddie got caught in the current and disappeared under water.
Poor Eddie was sucked into the Corbett irrigation tunnel which diverts water from the Buffalo Bill dam, wearing his saddle and bridle. The 100 year old tunnel is more than three miles long and was carrying 740 cubic feet of water per second when the horse was lost. Eddie would have been swimming in about 8 feet of water and the journey would have taken about 50 minutes.
Since the tunnel is only about 10 1/2 feet tall, he would have been able to breathe only if he could stay at the surface but it is likely the current kept him submerged for at least part of it. In fact, to get both in and out of the the tunnel, Eddie would have had to pass through one of the head gates, which control the flow, which are 5 feet under water!
Eddie was found by an irrigation scheme worker standing in water up to his belly. He was severely dehydrated, was covered in cuts and scrapes, and was running a fever. But heck, my horse achieves this in the safety of his own pasture! However, after being hydrated and treated antibiotics, Eddie has made a quick recovery.
Amazingly, this is Eddie’s second near death experience. In 2007 Eddie was lost for nearly 10 days during wild fires near Seeley Lake, Montana. Eventually Eddie was found by fire fighters.
He’d better be careful. He’s only got 7 more lives to go.
Read more about Eddie’s adventure: