Swimming sheep takes a fancy to a Ranger 36 at the Essex marina before being shown the door by marina staff

Boaters at Titchmarsh Marina in the Walton Backwaters got a shock on Monday when they were visited by a swimming sheep.

Marina bosses were first alerted to the woolly swimmer by a stunned berthholder who reported seeing the sheep swim by his boat.

The sheep then proceeded to climb up the bank and take a wander through the marina’s yard before walking down the gangway and onto the pontoons.

After surveying a number of boats, the sheep climbed aboard a Ranger 36 for a closer inspection.

Marina staff eventually managed to shepherd the animal off the boat, out of the yard and into a nearby field.

“It was a very strange afternoon,” Kate Oxborrow, the Essex marina’s office manager, said.