Lifeboat crew rescue dog stranded half a mile out to sea
- Credit: Archant
A lifeboat team was on alert to rescue a dog stranded out to sea.
Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat was launched this afternoon following reports of something in the water about half a mile out from the Cefas fisheries laboratory in Pakefield.
The alarm had been raised by member of the public Alison Joseph, who had been sitting in a cafe on the seafront and saw what she initially thought was a seal's head in the sea.
However, having spoken to other people in the area who said they had seen a dog on London Road South running towards the sea without an owner, they soon called the emergency services.
Ms Joseph said: 'After dialling 999, we directed the lifeboat to where we had last seen the dog. The lifeboat crew couldn't see it at first and came back towards the shore to check where the sighting had been.
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'Eventually they found that the dog was further out and the swooping seagulls helped guide the lifeboat towards it.'
After crew members aboard the lifeboat eventually found her, Willow - an Alsation Labrador crossed with some Staffy - was plucked out of the sea by Nigel Lyman.
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Lifeboat coxswain John Fox said: 'We launched our relief lifeboat 'Cassandra' just before 2.30pm and, after checking with people on the beach, eventually found the dog about a half mile offshore.
'Nigel went down onto the spray rail and pulled the dog on board our lifeboat. She was extremely cold - verging on hypothermic - so we took her into the warm wheel house and wrapped her in blankets before returning back to the lifeboat station.
Several onlookers, who had been standing on the beach watching the rescue, let out a cheer when crew members told them that Willow had been saved and was in safe hands.
She was taken into the warmth of the crew room at the lifeboat station and checked over by Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard Rescue Team.
The owner was contacted using details on her collar and they were later reunited.
Willow, who is just over a year old, is thought to have swallowed sea water and is being taken to the vets for a further check-up.