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Looe RNLI volunteers rescue Willow a spaniel swimming ½ mile off Seaton beach

Lifeboats News Release

A spaniel named Willow decided to swim out to sea from Seaton beach yesterday afternoon.

Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix carrying Willow onto Seaton beach

RNLI/Dave Haines

Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix carrying Willow onto Seaton beach

Following several 999 calls to the coastguards, volunteers from Looe RNLI launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to go to Willows aid. Quickly arriving on scene our crew rescued Willow and returned the spaniel to it’s owners waiting on Seaton beach.

Yesterday afternoon, Friday 5 October 2018, Falmouth Coastguard control centre received a number of 999 calls from people on Seaton beach concerned for a dog swimming out to sea. A number of people on paddle and surf boards were reported attempting to rescue the spaniel before the tide and current took the dog further out to sea. Our volunteer crew were paged at 5.22 pm and quickly launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue II. Helmed by Clive Palfrey, with crew members Toby Bray, Aaron Rix and Goron Jones, the Atlantic 85 arrived on scene within 10 minutes to rescue Willow, who was now approximately half a mile out at sea. Returning to Seaton, crew member Aaron Rix took Willow onto the beach where the spaniel was reunited with it’s relieved owners.

Looe RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dave Haines, was close to Seaton when the launch request came in from the coastguards and made his way to the beach. He says that the coastguards had requested an immediate launch of the inshore lifeboat as a number of people on boards were attempting to rescue Willow and could have got themselves into difficulties. Dave goes on to say they all did the right thing in staying close to shore and not getting themselves into danger by venturing to far out to sea when they realised they could not reach Willow in time. Helm, Clive Palfrey, commented on how difficult it was to spot the dog even though the sea was relatively calm. It is not known why Willow decided to swim straight out to sea but observers on the beach said they were surprised how quickly the tide and current took the spaniel out from the waters edge.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat returned to station, washed down, refuelled and made ready for service by 6pm.

End

Notes to editors

Photos:

· Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix carrying Willow onto Seaton beach
Photo credit RNLI / Dave Haines

· Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix reuniting Willow with it’s owner on Seaton beach
Photo credit RNLI / Dave Haines

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk

or

Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk

or

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or emma.haines@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix reuniting Willow with it’s owner on Seaton beach

RNLI/Dave Haines

Volunteer Looe RNLI crew Aaron Rix reuniting Willow with it’s owner on Seaton beach

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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