Billy the Labrador and his owners were sailing from Dun Laoghaire, across Dublin Bay, on 24 July when their boat’s engine lost power. As the wind pushed them towards the cliffs at the Baily Lighthouse on the south side of Howth Head, Billy’s owners – father and son – called the Dublin Coast Guard. Howth RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) was immediately tasked to come to their aid.
A crew of seven volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat at 1.40pm and reached the drifting boat within fifteen minutes, finding all on board were safe and well.
All three were taken on board of the lifeboat, an Billy was praised for his patience as he waited to return to shore.
It is not all that unusual for the RNLI to save dogs at sea. In May this year, the volunteer crew from Port Isaac RNLI came to the rescue of a dog who had gone missing while on a walk near Dannonchapel, north Cornwall. Woody the Sproker spaniel was later located inside a steep-sided cove, at which point a lifeboat was called in.
Crew member Ben Spicer said at the time, “Woody gave us a good run around to start off with as he was understandably distressed, cold, tired and hungry. It felt fantastic to get Woody out of there and back to his owners. I can only imagine how horrid it must have felt not knowing his circumstances over those days.”
“If in trouble at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard”
Following the incident at Howth Head, Howth RNLI Coxswain Fred Connolly said, “This type of call-out for the RNLI provides a good opportunity to remind boat owners to have a means of calling for help at all times, and if you do get into difficulty, that you’re prepared.
“If in trouble at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. We were delighted to be able to return Billy and his owners safely ashore.”
Images by Aidan Murphy