Looe RNLI volunteers rescue Willow a spaniel swimming ½ mile off Seaton beach
A spaniel named Willow decided to swim out to sea from Seaton beach yesterday afternoon.
Following several 999 calls to the coastguards, volunteers from Looe RNLI launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to go to Willows aid. Quickly arriving on scene our crew rescued Willow and returned the spaniel to it’s owners waiting on Seaton beach.
Yesterday afternoon, Friday 5 October 2018, Falmouth Coastguard control centre received a number of 999 calls from people on Seaton beach concerned for a dog swimming out to sea. A number of people on paddle and surf boards were reported attempting to rescue the spaniel before the tide and current took the dog further out to sea. Our volunteer crew were paged at 5.22 pm and quickly launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. Helmed by Clive Palfrey, with crew members Toby Bray, Aaron Rix and Goron Jones, the Atlantic 85 arrived on scene within 10 minutes to rescue Willow, who was now approximately half a mile out at sea. Returning to Seaton, crew member Aaron Rix took Willow onto the beach where the spaniel was reunited with it’s relieved owners.
Looe RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dave Haines, was close to Seaton when the launch request came in from the coastguards and made his way to the beach. He says that the coastguards had requested an immediate launch of the inshore lifeboat as a number of people on boards were attempting to rescue Willow and could have got themselves into difficulties. Dave goes on to say they all did the right thing in staying close to shore and not getting themselves into danger by venturing to far out to sea when they realised they could not reach Willow in time. Helm, Clive Palfrey, commented on how difficult it was to spot the dog even though the sea was relatively calm. It is not known why Willow decided to swim straight out to sea but observers on the beach said they were surprised how quickly the tide and current took the spaniel out from the waters edge.
The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat returned to station, washed down, refuelled and made ready for service by 6pm.
Notes to editors
· Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix carrying Willow onto Seaton beach
Photo credit RNLI / Dave Haines
· Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix reuniting Willow with it’s owner on Seaton beach
Photo credit RNLI / Dave Haines
· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk
· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI
RNLI media contacts
Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or email@example.com
Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.