What should have been a routine trip from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah for a young couple turned into an unlikely mission of mercy.
Ian Murphy and Christine Wilson were on their way to a dog park in Ras Al Khaimah last month when they saw a nearby camel trapped in quicksand.
The couple, originally from Ireland, quickly pulled over and began to dig the camel out of the hole. Soon, a group of locals joined the efforts to rescue the animal.
“I looked over at the side of the road and saw what appeared to be a camel’s head sticking out of the ground,” said Mr Murphy, 39, who works in Dubai as a cinematographer.
“We didn’t know what had happened at first but it was obvious the poor animal was in a lot of distress.
“There weren’t any camel tracks around and it looked like it had been trapped there for some time.”
He said the camel was stuck in what looked like quicksand. To make matters worse, the tide was due to come in.
Luckily, Mr Murphy had a shovel in the boot of his car and he got to work straight away.
“I had a shovel and Christine had a camera to film it,” he said jokingly.
“Thankfully, a group of locals saw us and joined it with the digging.”
The camel’s two front feet had been tied together, restricting its movements and making the rescue attempt all the more arduous.
“It was made a little trickier because the camel understandably kept wriggling but it didn’t have full use of its front legs,” Mr Murphy told The National.
He said about 15 people were involved in helping to dig the camel out.
“The owners joined in then as well and we finally got the camel free after two hours but it struggled to stand up for a few minutes before it was OK,” he said.
The owners of the camel were very grateful and insisted on rewarding the couple for their efforts.
“They tried to give us a small goat and two birds,” said Ms Wilson, 37, who runs a company making eco-friendly bags and travel accessories.
“Obviously we couldn’t accept them but they didn’t want us to go away empty-handed — they couldn’t have been happier to see the camel rescued.”