The racing pigeons, worth thousands of pounds, had drowned as the tide came in and lapped over the trailer.
The men, from the Stranraer area, had parked their car and trailer near the mouth of the river Annan, at Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, and had settled down to wait until it was time to release the birds for a race across the Solway Firth to Wigton in Cumbria. But they fell asleep while waiting for the race to start. They woke in the middle of the night to find water lapping around their legs.
The embarrassed pair managed to wade ashore and raise the alarm at a nearby cottage. But by the time help arrived the car was nearly submerged, the trailer partly covered by the tide and 120 pigeons in the lower decks of the trailer had drowned.
A police spokesman said the men, who have not been named, were shocked, but unhurt.Reuse content