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.