Littlehampton RNLI respond to a mobile phone call reporting a dog in the water.

Lifeboats News Release

Following a call from the UK Coastguard, Littlehampton RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged at 2.40pm on Friday 16 March and the stations D Class lifeboat Ray of Hope launched a few minutes later.

D Class Ray of Hope returning to station

RNLI/Andy T Lee

D Class Ray of Hope returning to station

Off duty RNLI shore crew volunteer Andy Lee was in the vicinity and explains what happened. “I was wandering along the pier when I heard shouts/screams coming from a lady on the beach, I looked over the end of the pier and saw her dog in the water at the entrance to the river. The tide was on its way out and moving very quickly. I dashed down from the pier onto the beach and tried to reach the river side groin in the hopes of being able to grab the dog, but by this stage it was being pulled further into the middle of the river by the strong currents. Meanwhile the lady was on her mobile phone calling the coastguard. A male member of the public joined us and was preparing to go into the water to try and rescue the dog. Thankfully he heeded my warning about jumping into the river himself to attempt a rescue. The dog was then swept out to the harbour mouth, fortunately the currents pulled it eastward towards the beach side of the pier, where it was able to start making headway in towards the shore. At this point the guy waded into the water waist high, to retrieve the very lucky dog and safely return it to the very grateful owner. The lifeboat crew and a member of the coastguard team arrived on the scene and made sure all was well, and everyone was safe before returning to the boathouse at 3.05pm.”

Harry Gregory, RNLI Community Safety Officer said, “Well done to Andy who may have saved a life today by putting the RNLI's safety messages into action. If you are walking dogs near the sea, please remember:

• Keep them on a lead when close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers

• Don't go in after them if they get stuck in the water or mud. Move to a place they can get out safely and call them - they'll probably get out by themselves.

• If you're worried about them, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

You can also find more advice for dog walking and other waterside activities here: https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/coastal-walking/dog-walking

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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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