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RNLI lifeguards save Coco the dog seen struggling in the water at Rye Harbour

RNLI lifeguards have saved a cocker spaniel called Coco who fell into the water at Rye Harbour and found himself having difficulty returning to shore.

Dog Coco after the rescue kept warm with a fleece by RNLI lifeguard Owain Credit RNLI

The incident happened at 10am on Sunday (5 June) when members of the public witnessed a dog struggling and contacted HM Coastguard as they were also worried the owner would attempt to get into the water to rescue her four-legged friend.

Assisted with advice from lifeguard supervisor Leon Driver, RNLI lifeguards Owain and Peter used the four-wheel drive (4WD) patrol truck and drove to Rye Harbour where the dog had been spotted, to investigate. The lifeguards quickly alerted the owner not to go into the water and asked for the dog’s name.

Upon arrival, they noticed that the harbour was sloped on the Eastern side, so they encouraged and directed the pet to swim across and return to the shore where they were located. Once back to safety, Coco was visibly cold and shivering, so one of the lifeguards used his fleece to keep him warm. Finally, the lifeguard team returned to Camber West lifeguard unit and reunited the worried owner with her beloved pet over at Western car park.

Dog Coco with RNLI lifeguard Owain, waiting to be reunited with owner Credit RNLI lifeguard Peter

Lifeguard Owain said: ‘I am really happy that we were able to rescue and keep warm a very tired dog and ensure the owner’s safety. However, I want to remind members of the public that if their pet goes into the water or gets stuck in the mud, they should not go after it because they are endangering themselves. Instead, please move to a place of safety. If the dog can’t get out of the water by itself, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Coco’s owner has dropped a thank you card and brownies for the lifeguards at Camber Sands beach as a heartfelt appreciation. She is also planning to raise money for the RNLI and HM Coastguard for their support with the incident.

For more information on how to keep your beloved pets safe on the coast, please visit:

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