Lifeboats News Release 08/04/2015
Author: Bob Warwick
New Brighton’s lifeboat Atlantic 85 B-837 ‘Charles Dibdin’ plus RNLI Beach Lifeguard on a jetski were launched to a report from HM Coastguard of a dog and possible human in the water in the area off from ‘The Gunsight’ on the Leasowe shore.
It was a fine day with clear weather, sea conditions calm and the tide had recently turned.
Senior Helmsman at New Brighton Dave Lowe reported ‘ When both craft reached the scene and after a search we eventually found the dog about 1/2 mile from shore and being rapidly swept out to sea on the outgoing tide. Although sea conditions were calm it was still very difficult to spot the dog. When we eventually reached her we just managed to get hold of her collar then got her into the lifeboat. Although she had been swimming well she was cold and shivering and we wrapped her up in survival bag and calmed her down then took her to the lifeboat station where we were met by her very relieved owner.’
The dogs name was Martha a 10 year old Golden Retriever who likes to go for a swim and this time was caught by the strength of the out going tide which rapidly swept her out to sea.
Dave Lowe continued ‘We took an extra crewman as the initial report included the possibility of the owner being in the water attempting to rescue Martha, fortunately she had been dissuaded by local Coastguard officers on the scene otherwise we would have had two rescues on our hands. We understand how much owners care for their pets however we cannot stress highly enough that if an animal does end up in the sea that the owner should not go in after them. In many cases the animal manages to get back on the shore unaided but the human doesn’t, often resulting in fatality.’
Ian Thornton, Deputy Launch Authority at New Brighton who oversaw the RNLI operation from shore commented ‘This is the second dog rescue in recent weeks with the strong potential of the owners going in to the sea to attempt a rescue, fortunately this time it did not end in tragedy. It also follows on from a series of call outs to assist dog walkers who have been cut off by the tide in recent months. We cannot stress once again the importance of knowing the local tide times. In this area the tides come in fast via gullies so people end up cut off from shore several hours before high tide. When high tide is passed then the tide retreats equally quickly with many strong and dangerous currents ready to sweep humans and animals away.’