RNLI

Appeal to Dog Lovers

We have recently had a series of call outs to either rescue dogs in difficulty or walkers with dogs cut off by the tide.

In the cases of rescuing dogs in difficulty its vital that the owners or passers by do not try and rescue the animals but call for help instead – call 999 HM Coastguard. In many cases the animal will manage to get itself back to land however the human drowns!.

In both dog rescue situations recently local Coastguard officers had a hard job dissuading owners and passers by from entering the water to attempt rescue.

rnli_dogIn February the River conditions were very dangerous, we managed to rescue Heidi the dog but sadly she died later on shore.

In March’s rescue Martha the golden retriever was being swept out to sea and was ½ mile out from ‘the Gunsight’ when our lifeboat reached her and returned her to shore cold but happy and alive – photo

People may ask the question why do our crews risk their lives to save an animal – in both cases when we launched information indicated that there was a high probability of having to rescue a human from the water which would be our top priority – our crew also love animals.

A common feature of both incidents was the dog being caught in strong currents as the tide turned.

Since New Year there has also been a series of incidents where dog walkers, some with children, who have been caught out on the sandbanks by the incoming tide and cut off from shore. Fortunately most managed to wade ashore before we launched either hovercraft or lifeboat however I suspect its only a matter of time before there is a tragedy.

Its vital to understand the tides in the area as they sweep in extremely quickly along the many gullies leaving many sections of sandbank above the water several hours before high tide. In addition when the tide turns strong currents can drag animals and humans swiftly into deep water and out to sea.

Local tide time information is widely available on the internet and in booklet form. Further coastal safety information available from Tony Jones – 07516 731717