Praise for RNLI volunteers after dog runs into sea

Claire Hallam with Skegness RNLI volunteers with family pet Bonnie who they helped after running into the sea. ANL-160129-145843001
Claire Hallam with Skegness RNLI volunteers with family pet Bonnie who they helped after running into the sea. ANL-160129-145843001
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A cocker spaniel saw red when she spotted seagulls hovering over the shoreline in Skegness – but ended up in the safe arms of the local volunteer lifeboat crew.

Bonnie, the four-year-old treasured pet of Diane French, slipped her lead during a family walk on the beach and the alarm was raised when she disappeared under water.

Diane’s daughter, Claire Hallam, said: “I didn’t know what else to do but call the Coastguard when I couldn’t see her.

“I’d been trying to catch her since she ran off at North Shore but I was wearing by wellies and she was too quick. All I could see was birds taking off and she was trying to catch them and landing in the water – then suddenly she was gone.

“The lifeboat crew told me they had men on the beach and one came running and another came in a tractor and trailer.

“Suddenly I spotted her again and then she walked towards me – I think she was exhausted. She was in my arms when the lifeboat men came and I just burst into tears. Emotions just kicked in.

“We were near the station by then and they took her inside and gave her a warm shower.

“I’ll always be grateful to them.

“I just knew I couldn’t go back to mum without her.”

Adam Holmes, deputy lifeboat press officer (volunteer), said they had been delighted the incident had a happy ending.

• Statistics released last week show more than 3,000 people were helped by the RNLI in the north of England last year, which includes Skegness.

There were 33 call-outs in the town, 23 for the inshore lifeboat and 10 for the all-weather boat.