BOSTON — An 18-year-old police horse fell through a pier into Boston Harbor Thursday and died despite frantic efforts to save the frightened animal with a huge crane and life preservers, officials said.
One man even ventured into the water and held the horse's head afloat in a valiant but failed rescue attempt, according to police.
The accident occurred about 10:30 a.m. when Officer Ed Cahill dismounted by Pier 1 to investigate a parking violation and tethered his horse, Fortret, out of the sun on the paved pier, police said. About five minutes later, Cahill said he saw the horse fall through the hot tar.
"He (the horse) had apparently fallen through a hole that was not more than 3 by 3 (feet)," said Dr. Mark Goldstein, executive director of the MetroPark zoos, who responded to police requests for a veterinarian.