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Icicle the cat was a whisker away from drowning

‘Thanks to the RNLI, I still have my nine lives.’ So says Icicle the cat, who told his soggy moggy story in a short fun film posted online for April Fool’s Day. This is the story of a real-life rescue, imagined from Icicle’s purr-spective.

‘I was out looking for mischief,’ Icicle told us with a wink. ‘I was walking along the river wall, and then just slipped off the edge. I was in big trouble. I was crying out for help, but it seemed like no one could hear me. And then I saw this big orange lifeboat approaching. When the lifeboat volunteer grabbed hold of me, I was just overwhelmed – like the cat that got the cream.’

The heroes of the hour

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI volunteer crew were the heroes who saved Icicle, gently pulling him from the River Bure into the lifeboat John Rowntree. They wrapped Icicle in a soft blanket and passed him safely over to the Gorleston Coastguard, who took him to a nearby RSPCA shelter. 

RNLI Helm Dave Kilpatrick said: ‘Once in the lifeboat, the cat was wrapped in a blanket and kept calm. He seemed pleased to see us. Once on dry land he was given some salmon from the fish shop, which he enjoyed.’

Icicle’s owner, Mandy, was overjoyed to be reunited with him and praises everybody who helped that day: ‘You arrived just in time when he was clinging to the wall and struggled to hold on. Thank you.’ 

Icicle has a rest, stretched out blissfully on his chaise lounge

Photo: Mandy Baker

Icicle was tired from his ordeal, but nothing a bit of pam-purr-ing couldn’t fix

Why the RNLI rescues animals

Our animal-loving lifeboat crews and lifeguards are happy to rescue treasured pets, wildlife and livestock. We’ve saved all kinds of animals, from water-logged puffins to weary whales, from cliff-diving dogs to desperate deer. Our lifesavers not only want to save creatures at risk of drowning, but they want to prevent people putting themselves in danger trying to rescue the animals. 

That’s one of the reasons Mandy was more than happy for Icicle’s story to be told in a film: ‘It was important to show that experienced people handled the rescue. Members of the public shouldn’t put themselves at unnecessary risk.’ Mandy’s pretty sure Icicle approved of his film too: ‘Icicle is a very good-natured cat and he loves a fuss.’ 

Handsome Icicle lying comfortably on a faux leopard skin blanket, knowing he’s adored by his owner and his many fans

Photo: Mandy Baker

Safely back home, star of the show Icicle basks in the fame

Don’t put yourself in danger – leave it to the RNLI

It may be tempting to save beloved pets like Icicle yourself, but the message from the RNLI is clear:

  • Don't go after your pet if they go into the water or get stuck in mud. Move to a place they can get to safely and call them – they'll probably get out by themselves.
  • If you're worried about your pet, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. Don’t put yourself at risk by going into the water after them.

Let’s leave the last word to Icicle: ‘It was a stroke of genius to pull meowt of that river and I’ll never fur-get the volunteers who saved me. Thanks to the RNLI, I still have my nine lives. Well, eight if you count the incident with the tabby four doors down.’

You’ll find more heart-warming animal rescues in a new book, Saved from the Waves. Get your copy from our RNLI Shop. Every book sold will help keep our volunteers ready to rescue – whoever needs their help.

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