Dog Tragedy Highlights Wind & Water Danger

Lifeboats News Release

Dunbar’s lifeboat volunteers raced to help a man who jumped into the harbour to rescue his dog after it was swept into the water in strong winds today (Monday).

The alarm was raised by fishermen at midday after the Chihuahua puppy fell into Dunbar Harbour in force 6 winds with gusts of 30mph. The dog’s 21-year-old owner entered the water after his pet but wasn’t able to rescue the dog. He managed to swim to the other side and pulled himself up a ladder.

As crew members tended to the man, another volunteer swam out and reached the dog. Holding it above the swell, he and another crew member brought the puppy ashore. Volunteers fought to save the animal and rushed it to a vet in the town, while an ambulance arrived to take the man to hospital for treatment.

Sadly, the dog did not recover.

The tragic incident highlighted the dangers facing people when walking dogs close to water.

The RNLI’s advice is to keep dogs on a lead if close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers. If a dog enters the water or gets stuck in mud, don't go after it. Move to a place the animal can reach safely and call. In most cases, the dog will probably get out by itself. If worried, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

The crew’s thoughts go to the dog’s owner and family.

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

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