RNLI Rye Harbour launch to search for a dog lost in the river

Lifeboats News Release

The call from HM Coastguards came at 11.22 this morning, Friday 14 December, for the lifeboat to launch. A distressed owner of the dog had rung 999 for help.

lifeboat heading down the River Rother


Tony Peters as helm heads out to the rescue

The lifeboat was launched at 11.40 and headed down to the mouth of the river which is where the dog was last seen. The boat did two sweeps of the river entrance and at first there were no sightings. The crew persisted in their task and found the dog, which had unfortunately succumbed to elements and was found to be dead at the scene. The crew recovered it and brought it back to the lifeboat station to which Dave King, The Warden of the Nature Reserve, brought the owners of the dog. He had looked after them on the reserve during the rescue.

The RNLI website has advice and tips on safe dog walking by the coast.

It is important to keep yourself safe when walking your dogs. Please think about these messages:

§ RNLI advises that it is best to keep dogs on a lead if you are close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers.

§ If your dog goes into the water or get stuck in mud, don't go after it. Move to a place where your dog can get to safely and call to it - in many cases dogs will get out of difficulty themselves.

§ If you're worried at all, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Tony Edwards LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) at Rye Harbour said,

‘We were pleased that the owner of the dog did the right thing and rang for help, which we responded to by sending out the lifeboat. The outcome of the rescue was a sad one and our thoughts are with the owners.’

Key facts about the RNLI

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, in a normal year, 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.