The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has revealed an increase in the number of animals it saved from the seas in 2022. Dog rescues (164) make up the vast majority of the total 209 “creature call-outs”, which included 27 dolphins, two deer, a rabbit, and a snake.
Some of the stories of dogs saved by RNLI are recounted in the book Saved from the Waves – including the story Flossy, a Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix who survived a 130ft cliff fall on Anglesey, North Wales, while on holiday with owners Clare and Terry. Flossy had not been killed in the fall, but was now trapped on a ledge, surrounded by water. Her owner dialled 999 for help, and the coastguard was soon at the scene.
Clare recalls, “The coastguard team started looking for a way down, but it quickly became clear that it was too dangerous even for them to attempt. My heart sank as a member of the coastguard team explained that the only way to get Flossy would be from the water.
“She has to be okay, I pleaded silently to myself. She has to be. The coastguards said that they had alerted the RNLI and were sending a lifeboat. ‘The RNLI?’ I said, surprised. ‘They do that?’.”
The RNLI does indeed do that, and a volunteer crew from Moelfre RNLI soon made their way into the cove. The members of the crew were able to coax Flossy to them, and reunite her with her family.
One of the crew that night was station mechanic and helm Vince Jones. He said, “There was no doubt it was incredible that Flossy had survived such an enormous fall and escaped completely unhurt. Although it was just another rescue to us, it was much more than that in so many ways. It was another life saved and a family reunited. I felt a huge sense of pride.”
RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said, “Saved from the Waves is a heart-warming collection of stories which highlights the bravery of our crew when it comes to saving lives, whether that is a person or their pet.
“As a dog owner, I can identify with anyone who would instinctively head into the water to rescue their pet and we know well there’s a chance their fellow humans will enter the water to attempt a rescue. This can and has led to tragedy. As such, many of the rescues featured in this book have indirectly saved human lives.”
Saved from the Waves in paperback is available to order online from Amazon and all good bookshops, and is available to buy in hardback from the RNLI online shop: https://shop.rnli.org/products/rnli-saved-from-the-waves-book.
Images by RNLI