Hoylake RNLI hovercraft saw her first shout of 2019 this morning when her volunteer crew were tasked to assist Crosby Coastguard Rescue Team in aiding two dogs which had been found alone on Formby beach.
The dogs had reportedly been missing since the evening of New Year’s Day and had spent the night lost on the beach, where overnight temperatures reached below freezing.
The owners were found through social media and made their way to the scene.
The hovercraft launched from Hoylake at 11.28am and arrived on Formby beach to be met by Coastguard officers, Southport Lifeboat and the dogs’ owners.
The dogs were located just north of the river Alt, approximately 1/2 a mile from shore.
One, a Husky, was found to be having difficulty standing, while another was distressed and acting protectively of its canine friend.
The uninjured dog was escorted ashore by Coastguard and Southport Lifeboat colleagues.
Meanwhile the injured Husky and its owner were brought on board Hoylake RNLI hovercraft and transferred ashore safely to Albert Road in Formby, accompanied by a Coastguard officer.
With both dogs and their owners safely ashore in the care of emergency service colleagues, Hoylake RNLI hovercraft returned to station to be made ready for her next service.
Volunteer hovercraft commander Matt Schanck said: “The dogs had been out on the beach overnight in very cold temperatures.
“One had been injured and the other was understandably distressed. Through working closely with our Coastguard and Southport Rescue colleagues, we were able to reunite the owners with their pets and help bring them all ashore safely.
“All of the team at Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station hope the dogs have a speedy recovery.”
Matt added: “When walking dogs by the coast, it’s important to keep both your pets and yourself safe.
“We advise dog-walkers to keep pets on a lead in potentially dangerous areas. If you have any concerns about your dog’s or your own safety, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”
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