Close shave for sheep in rescue by Hoylake RNLI hovercraft

Lifeboats News Release

A sheep was rescued from Leasowe Beach by Hoylake RNLI hovercraft on Monday 24 July after being chased into the flooding tide by a dog.

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI volunteer Emily Jones comforted the sheep alongside the farmer and sheepdog after the rescue

The sheep’s farmer had called the Coastguard to raise the alarm and seek assistance as he planned to rescue the distressed animal. Hoylake RNLI hovercraft Hurley Spirit was requested to launch by HM Coastguard at 2.29pm.

The hovercraft launched with her volunteer crew and soon arrived on scene alongside the Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI Wirral Lifeguards. They agreed with the farmer that the safest option would be to take him and his sheepdog on the hovercraft across the tidal gutter to attempt a rescue on the sandbank.

The hovercraft crew flew the farmer and his dog onto the sandbank, which was quickly becoming covered by the tide, and together they were able to swiftly recover the sheep. It was brought on board the hovercraft and flown back to the safety of Hoylake Lifeboat Station.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft crew member Emily Jones said: ‘It was a close shave for the sheep on what can be a dangerous area of beach, but we were glad we could help the farmer and his dog in bringing the animal to safety.’

‘If you see an animal in difficulty at the coast, it may be tempting to attempt a rescue but you may also be putting yourself at risk in the water. Always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, who can best advise on any steps to take or can task the appropriate emergency services.’

The incident was also the first hovercraft shout for Hoylake RNLI volunteer Dave Mackenzie. Dave said: ‘Being part of the crew is a great experience and this was certainly a memorable situation. Not only was it my first shout, it was also the first time the hovercraft crew had rescued a sheep!’

‘Our aim is to save lives at sea and it was privilege to work alongside an experienced crew that shows care and compassion in rescuing people and animals alike. We assessed and planned the rescue in a unique situation for us all, ensuring the safety of the farmer and his animals. A great result!’

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Dan Whiteley, Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 851 316 or email [email protected]

Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941 390 or email [email protected]

RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Hoylake RNLI

The sheep was rescued after being chased into the flooding tide by a dog

Hoylake RNLI

The unique rescue was the first hovercraft shout for Hoylake RNLI volunteer Dave Mackenzie

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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