Coastguard warns dog owners of dangers of rescuing pets

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The Coastguard has warned dog owners and members of the public not to rescue their pets themselves after a person had to be hospitalised in Littlehampton, West Sussex. The dog was swept out to sea from the River Arun after entering the water at around 2:15pm on Monday.

Both the person and the dog were safely rescued, although the person was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The Coastguard sent its Littlehampton and Shoreham rescue teams along with the Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat and South East Coast Ambulance Service to handle the situation.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “Thankfully, the pair were able to get to shore. However, the member of public has been taken to hospital as a precaution.”

Connie Phelps, of the Coastguard service, said: “If your dog does get into difficulty at the coast please don’t be tempted to rescue them yourself. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“Around the UK’s coast we respond to incidents where people have risked their own lives, to save their dogs from the sea or cliffs, sometimes with tragic consequences.

“Please, don’t risk your life, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Last summer a dog was swept hundreds of metres away from the shore while swimming in the Bristol Channel off Sugar Loaf Beach in Portishead.

Members of the public became concerned after seeing the pooch swimming about 400 metres away from the beach.

A spokesman for Portishead RNLI said: “Portishead RNLI were called by members of the public concerned for a dog swimming 400m off of the beach at Sugar Loaf Beach.

“They were concerned that the owner would go in after their beloved pooch to rescue them.”

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Luckily the lifeboats were able to step down after the dog managed to make its own way back to shore.

The spokesman added: “The members of the public who called 999 and spoke to the coastguard did exactly the right thing and this time it was a happy ending.

“Keep an eye on your pet and try and give clear instructions on where your pet is. We strongly advise you not to enter the water, we do understand the connections you have with your pet, a lot of us are dog owners too.”

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