This is the heartwarming moment a hero dad jumped into a water-filled sewer to rescue seven baby ducklings which had fallen down a drain.
Edan March, 26, leapt into action in the pouring rain after seeing a mother duck in distress outside his home in Husbands Bosworth, Leics., at 6am on Monday (16/5).
The mallard had recently been nesting in the front garden of his property so Edan realised straight away that her babies were missing.
He put this ear to the ground near several manholes along the street before hearing tiny quacking noises coming from one of the drains.
The dad-of-one quickly ran to his garage to grab some tools in order to wrench open the manhole cover and jump down into the open sewer.
Edan then lifted seven ducklings one-by-one to safety and passed them to his partner Georgia Littlejohn, 27, who reunited the mother with her babies.
Sales worker Edan, who lives with Georgia and their one-year-old daughter Piper, said: “I just acted on instinct really.
“I didn’t think too much about it. We heard the mother duck going crazy and noticed her ducklings were missing.
“They had fallen through one of the grills outside and gone through the pipework into the main system.
“We just had to listen out at different manhole covers and eventually I heard quacking coming from one of them.
“I couldn’t get any drain keys, so what I used was two adjustable wrenches. I stuck them at each side and I had to scoop the manhole cover up.
“I assessed the situation as much as I could. I’m 6’1 and I was fully submerged when I went down.
“I was in the middle of the street, I must have looked a sight. There was seven of them there and I passed them one-by-one to Georgia.
“The estate is fairly new and the infrastructure is quite modern so there’s not much grime, it was just a bit wet.”
The mother duck had chosen the couple’s front garden as the perfect place to lay her eggs and had been nesting there for four weeks.
On May 15, the brood started hatching, so they knew she would soon be taking her ducklings to the pond.
It is believed the mother duck had been trying to take the babies to water when she inadvertedly led them over the street drain.
Edan added: “They’d literally been outside my front door.
“I even had a Tesco delivery driver come to the front door and ask if we knew we had a duck there.
“We assume she was leading them to a pond when the babies plunged down the drain.”
Georgia, a nursery deputy manager, added: “We quickly realised a duckling had fallen down the drain but it wasn’t visible even when I lifted the drain grid.
“I attempted to coax the duckling out by putting a tray in down the drain in the hope that it would climb onto it for safety but it was frightened.
“After a few minutes, I noticed there wasn’t just one quack I could hear but multiple.
“The duck had no other ducklings with her so I could only assume her whole brood had fallen in.
“Ed listened above each manhole and drain to workout where the quacks were coming from.
“We could see a few ducklings down there, flapping and quacking and we knew we had to save them.
“Ed climbed down and handed me a duckling one by one, which I led to mother duck.
“We counted seven and mummy duck was thrilled to have her ducklings back following her around.
“Piper and I led the ducklings to the pond and stood on each drain grid to ensure no more fell in.”
Following the rescue, Edan was sure he could still hear one tiny quack so he followed it and lifted up a further two manholes.
Georgia added: “He found another duckling but as he went to grab it, it ran off down the pipe.
“We waited and waited but the chirp was inaudible. Ed went to the pond and to our surprise there were eight ducklings.
“We think the last one had made its way into the pond through the underground pipes.
“We’re so pleased that our little duck family are safe and sound.
“I have to say well done mummy duck for relentlessly calling your ducklings and alerting us to come and help you.
“And well done to Ed for willingly climbing down a manhole at 6am on a Monday morning to rescue some babies.”