Larne RNLI search for dog after it fell down cliff near Islandmagee

Lifeboats News Release

Larne RNLI searched for a dog today (Thursday 9 April) after it was reported missing, having fallen over a cliff near Muck Island close to Islandmagee.

RNLI/Martin Linton

Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat, Terry

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to search the area north of the Gobbins cliffs.

The inshore lifeboat, Terry, under Helm Dave Sommerville and two other crew members launched at 09.39am and made their way to the requested search area.

Weather conditions were favourable with a calm sea and good visibility.

The Portmuck mobile Coastguard team were searching from the top of the cliffs but were unable to get a clear view of the rocks nearer the water. A volunteer crew member was put onto these rocks, where it was safe to do so, in order to conduct a search of the area. In places it was not possible to put a crew member onto the rocks, so a shoreline search was conducted.

After searching roughly one mile north and south of the location the decision was made to stand down by the Coastguard as nothing had been sighted.

Speaking following the call out, Larne Deputy Launching Authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson said: ‘The concern always for a callout of this nature is that owners will try and rescue their pets themselves and in turn get into difficulty and get hurt. With the current Covid-19 pandemic, we would urge people who live near the coast and wish to exercise there to be cautious and watch their footing.’

‘Our lifeboat remains on call and operational, but our lifeboat crew are not training with the current restrictions and the station remains closed to visitors. Therefore, we would advise people to stay away from the water and carry out the Government’s advice.’

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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, 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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