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Holyhead RNLI rescue Ollie the Labrador who mistook lobster pot buoy for ball

Lifeboats News Release

Holyhead RNLI lifeboat volunteers came to the rescue of a black Labrador who mistook a lobster pot buoy for a ball and got stuck 40m out to sea.

The station’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following a report of the incident at about 8.30pm yesterday (Monday 15 August). As well as the dog in difficulty there were reports that the dog's owner was considering going in to try and rescue the dog themselves.

The dog, a four-year-old called Ollie, had been out for a walk with his owner on a spot known locally as Rocky Coast about a mile west of Holyhead RNLI lifeboat station. He had been chasing a ball and mistook a lobster pot buoy for a ball and swam out to try and retrieve it but got his chest harness and collar stuck on the buoy.

Holyhead RNLI’s volunteer inshore lifeboat crew were on the scene in minutes and found the dog, which had been stuck on the buoy for about 20 minutes, tired and beginning to struggle to keep his head above water.

The person walking Ollie had attempted to swim to help the dog but the sea was too cold and the buoy too far out so they made the sensible decision to abandon the attempt and call 999.

As the inshore lifeboat approached Ollie, he turned his head to face the boat, which freed him from the buoy and despite being tired he was able to swim back to shore, under a watchful escort from the lifeboat crew.

Holyhead RNLI volunteer crew member Beth Wilkinson said: ‘Of course it is a natural instinct for owners to want to help their pets when they are in trouble. But the person walking Ollie did exactly the right thing not to put themselves at risk by trying to rescue him.

'We would always encourage pet owners not to enter the water in this type of situation, but to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

Gwen Scott, who oens Olliebut who was not there during last night’s incident, said: ‘I can't thank the RNLI enough for all they did last night.

‘I'd like to thank the crew massively for coming out because if they hadn’t have done it all could have ended so very differently for Ollie.’

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows Ollie the black Labrador safe and well after being rescued by Holyhead RNLI lifeboat. Credit Gwen Scott

For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 01745 585162 or 07748 265496 or by email on chris_cousens@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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