Divebombing swan puts canoeists in a flap by knocking them into water

Divebombing swan puts canoeists in a flap by knocking them into the water when they invade its territory during 125-mile race

  • Swan protected its territory during a 125-mile canoe race by landing on canoes
  • It knocked some of the competitors into water on the Kennet and Avon Canal
  • One man tried to get bird off his canoe but lost his balance and fell into the water

This is the divebombing which swan caused mayhem during a 125-mile Easter canoe race by knocking competitors into the water.

The bird protected its territory by landing on the back of the light-weight boats – making some of the canoeist capsize.  

When one man tried and get the swan off the back of his canoe on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Marden, Wiltshire, he lost his balance and fell into the water.

A divebombing swan caused mayhem during a 125-mile canoe race by knocking competitors into the water. The swan is seen swooping down on canoeists 

The bird protected its territory on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Marden, Wiltshire by landing on the back of the light-weight boats – making some of the canoeist capsize. A man is pictured in the water after his boat capsized

Peter Strong captured pictures of the bird attacking the competitors on Friday, April 19 during the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon.

Mr Strong, 58, who was attacked by the swan as he walked with his young children, said the bird has developed the incredible technique to fight off canoeist each year during the annual race. 

He said: ‘As the canoe goes past the swan goes into a low level swoop, and it’s perfected this thing where it perches on the back of the boat and then flaps its wings.   

 ‘A couple of years ago it perturbed me because I was with my children, I’ve know about his antics for about five or six year.

‘I saw about ten boats pass, the swan went for each of them. Apparently if you are aggressive towards it then it stays away. 

‘The guy that capsized turned around to try to shoo the swan away.

‘There was a girl with him, she hadn’t realised what had happened until she turned around.

‘There was a girl on a pushbike too, she helped him.

‘He flew towards me on the footpath, it might have been because I had a dog. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not.’ 

Peter Strong, who photographed the swan attacking the canoeists, said each year the bird is bothered by passing canoeists who are taking part in the race, and has developed its incredible technique to fight them off

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