Cowes Lifeboat Station

Man and Dog in Solent Rescue Drama

28th August 2018

Mark Harker with the rescued dog by his knee.

A man and his dog were the subject of a dramatic Solent rescue this afternoon,
involving Cowes RNLI lifeboat, a Coastguard helicopter, and on-shore
Coastguard teams.

The alarm was raised when a man was reported to be in difficulties while trying to
rescue his dog in strong currents off the popular Lepe beach between Beaulieu River
and Calshot. Although the man managed to struggle, exhausted, ashore – apparently
with the help of a kayaker – the lifeboat was tasked with trying to locate the dog, a
small collie-type said to be blind because of cataracts.

“Eventually he was pinpointed by the hovering Lee-on-Solent helicopter, some
200 metres offshore,” said lifeboat helm Mark Harker. “When we got near him I
jumped into the sea and pulled him to the boat to be hauled aboard. By that
time the dog, called Fly, was very tired and could not have lasted much
longer.”
After reuniting the dog with his owner the lifeboat then went offshore again to pick up
a paramedic, lowered from the helicopter. He was then taken to the beach to carry
out an assessment of the dog’s owner, and concluded he had sufficiently recovered
from his ordeal not to be taken in the waiting ambulance to hospital.
Also on the scene were onshore Coastguard teams from Lymington and
Southampton.

The lifeboat, which launched at 2.20 pm, arrived back at station just over 30 minutes
later.

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