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Ilfracombe RNLI volunteers rescue Oscar the dog after cliff fall

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday 23 July just before 7pm, the RNLI received a call for help after a dog had fallen from the cliffs on the Woolacombe side of Morte Point.

RNLI/Ilfracombe

Oscar the dog with Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew after being rescued from cliffs at Woolacombe.

The Ilfracombe inshore lifeboat, Deborah Brown II, was initially launched, but as the weather and sea conditions near the casualty's location were rough, the decision was made to launch the all-weather lifeboat, The Barry and Peggy High Foundation, to ensure the safety of the inshore lifeboat crew.

The inshore lifeboat crew located the dog, named Oscar, trying to scamper back up the cliff towards his owners, but unfortunately it was too steep for him to climb as he'd fallen approximately 12m down the cliff. Two volunteer crew members went ashore and carried him back onto the inshore lifeboat, then transferred him onto the all-weather lifeboat.

Oscar seemed none the worse for his fall and was returned to Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station where he waited patiently for his owners, who were relieved and grateful for his safe return.

Inshore lifeboat Helmsman Stuart Carpenter said: 'It was a good call with a great outcome. The owners promptly called for help and sensibly waited for assistance from us. If you do need help to rescue your pet, please call for assistance rather than endangering yourself.'

Oscar, aged 3, said he had been enjoying playing in Woolacombe whilst on holiday, slipped his collar and it turned into a 'ruff' day, but was very grateful to his new friends at Ilfracombe RNLI.

RNLI notes to editors

The enclosed photo shows Oscar the dog with the Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew after being rescued from cliffs at Woolacombe. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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