Dog and owner rescued by Hoylake RNLI hovercraft off Wirral coast
A dog walker and her four-legged friend had a lucky escape on Monday 29 October after getting cut off by the incoming tide off the Wirral coast.
The volunteer crew of Hoylake RNLI hovercraft were tasked at 11.01am after the casualty telephoned the UK Coastguard, reporting that she and her dog were stuck on a sandbank in Leasowe Bay close to a groyne known locally as Barber’s Folly. New Brighton RNLI lifeboat was also tasked as the crew were on a training exercise in the area at the time.
With the tide flooding in quickly, Hoylake's inshore rescue hovercraft Hurley Spirit launched immediately and arrived on scene just minutes later. The casualty and her dog were found on a small sandbank surrounded by rising water.
The pair were brought safely on board the hovercraft by the volunteer crew. Once the crew were satisfied that both the casualty and her dog were well, they were brought ashore and landed at Dove Point slipway in Meols to be met by waiting Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team officers.
Volunteer hovercraft commander Howie Owen said:
‘The tide around the Wirral coast can come in very quickly and it’s very easy to find yourself cut off unexpectedly. The casualty did the right thing by telephoning the Coastguard as soon as she realised she was in difficulty.'
Howie added: ‘The RNLI launches to hundreds of incidents each year where people have been cut off by the tide. If you’re heading to the coast, you should always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back, carry a means of calling for help and most importantly, check the weather and tide times in advance. If you do get into trouble dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.'
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.