Saturday, 20 October 2018
The crew had to go to the aid of a dog when a flood tide was in danger of overwhelming it.
The crew of Weston station were paged at 1443 pm because passers-by had seen a small dog against the sea wall at Knightstone Island. It was Saturday afternoon in Weston when the beach races were on and the seashore was packed. Weston Coastguard were also called out.
The tide was flooding and the dog could not get back to dry land. The area it was in was not accessible from the land so the lifeboat was launched to avoid anyone risking their own lives by trying to rescue it.
The D Class Lifeboat, Anna Stock, launched within a few minutes of the pagers sounding. Soon after leaving the harbour the crew could see the dog up against the wall. As soon as they were near crewman David Ridoutwent into the water to try to reach the animal. He had to walk after the dog along the base of the wall but he caught up with it without difficulty. The dog was put in the lifeboat, fussed over by the crew, and returned to the harbour.
There was no sign of the owner so the dog was taken to the temporary lifeboat station where more fuss was made of it by the whole crew. Contact was made with the kennels who perform the dog warden duty at weekends and they already knew the dog was missing. Apparently it had got out when someone left the door open and the distraught owner had been looking for it for some time. When she heard from the kennels she came over to the lifeboat station and was reunited with Bella the dog.
Mike Buckland Lifeboat Operations manager at Weston station said:’ We only go and rescue animals to save others putting themselves at risk. However it is very satisfying when we do save an animal. We always advise everyone to keep their dogs on a lead when near the sea but this little one had escaped so there was no blame on the owner.’
Bella the West Highland Terrier, cut off by the tide at Knightstone and being recovered into the D Class lifeboat, Anna Stock. Photographs above credited to Karl Gunton.
Bella back on dry land, awaiting her owner to collect her at the lifeboat station: Photographs credit of RNLI/Weston.