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“Bittersweet” Redcar RNLI rescue has a happy ending

Lifeboats News Release

Redcar RNLI volunteers described the rescue of a missing man on Friday 9 April 2021 as a “bittersweet moment” when the dog he was with couldn’t be found.

The search for the missing man and his dog, involving coastguards, mountain rescue, police and members of the public, as well as the Redcar RNLI crew, began on Friday 9 April and went into the night.

As temperatures dropped to below freezing the man was located using the lifeboat’s thermal imaging equipment. The RNLI crew were able to guide a coastguard rescue team to the man’s location near Skinningrove, and from there he was guided to a nearby ambulance where he was assessed and treated for the effects of his ordeal.

Sadly though, at some point during the day the man had lost his pet, a Jack Russell terrier. The dog was nowhere nearby and the rescue teams were fearing the worst.

Then on Monday 12 April, one of the Redcar RNLI volunteers involved in the original search, Ed Thomas, was walking with his own dog Olly in the location where the man was found. When Olly’s ear’s pricked up at the sound of a dog bark coming from some rocks nearby, Ed went to investigate and found the missing Jack Russell beneath some large rocks.

Ed explained ‘When the search finished on Friday night, of course we were delighted to have found the missing man. But the fact his dog was missing left a real bittersweet taste.

‘So when I went for my walk on Monday morning I deliberately went in the direction of the rescue with the faint hope that I might find the Jack Russell. But to be honest I was fearing the worst. If his lead had been caught in the rocks and the tide had come in it was going to be bad news.’

Ed added: ‘When Olly reacted to a bark I went over towards to what looked like a recent rockfall. Peeping out a small gap in the rocks I saw a little face staring back at me. It was the Jack Russell!”

Ed described how the rocks were too heavy to move out of the way so he called a friend and two other RNLI volunteers, Nathan Hobday and Cameron Bond to help free the dog, which was trapped by one of its back legs.

Ed picked up the story: ‘When I first went toward the dog, he wasn’t exactly glad to see me. He was obviously in a bit of distress because his leg was stuck. But as soon as we got the rock off his leg he settled down and we were able to start walking back towards Saltburn with him.”

The grateful owners were contacted through a friend on social media and were reunited with their lost pet. He was taken to a local vet for checks and a warm bath and is now happily home, none too worse for his ordeal.


Notes to editors:

Attached are images of the rescued dog found trapped under rocks, credit RNLI/Ed Thomas. Image of Ed Thomas and his dog Olly with the rescued dog, credit RNLI/Jordan Summersgill.

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802

Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Mr Nick Thomas of Shropshire

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Any images used should be credited RNLI/Redcar unless indicated

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07894 558 483. Alternatively, contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North 07824 518641 or at [email protected], or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789; [email protected]

Redcar RNLI volunteer finds missing dog trapped under rocks

RNLI/Ed Thomas

Redcar RNLI volunteer finds missing dog trapped under rocks
Redcar RNLI volunteer finds missing dog trapped under rocks

RNLI/Ed Thomas

Redcar RNLI volunteer finds missing dog trapped under rocks
Ed Thomas and his dog Olly, with the rescued Jack Russell in his arms

RNLI/Jordan Summersgill

Ed Thomas and his dog Olly, with the rescued Jack Russell in his arms

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 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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