Lifeboatmen rescued a struggling dog from what would have been certain death on a Langstone Harbour mudbank.
The tiny terrier-like Griffon called Mini Mouse had been missing for a day when she was spotted trapped in soft ooze as the tide rose.
RNLI Portsmouth’s D Class lifeboat Brian’s Pride was launched yesterday afternoon and the crew managed to save the terrified dog in the nick of time.
Mini Mouse was soon reunited with her owner, who had been desperately searching the area unaware of what had happened to her.
RNLI spokesman Aaron Gent said: ‘Mini Mouse was stuck on an isolated muddy island in Langstone Harbour, stuck on the waterline with a fast rising tide, the poor dog didn’t have long.
‘She was lucky to be spotted by two walkers, who called Southsea marina to alert them of the impending doom unfolding less than 100 metres north of the marina visitor’s pontoon.
‘Unable to assist themselves, marina security located the animal on CCTV and alerted Solent Coastguard. The Portsmouth Lifeboat crew was called and launched immediately. Rushing to the animals aid the inshore lifeboat was waved down by the walkers and directed toward the stranded animal.
‘On approach it was clear that the little dog was exhausted and struggling to stand on the far side of a small tidal island. Helmsman Neil Maxwell guided the lifeboat close before directing his the volunteer crew to walk the boat further into the shallows and carefully recover the dog to the lifeboat.
‘Up to his ankles, Crewman Joshua Bowe waded across the thick mud, even falling to his knees to reach the distressed animal, Bitten but undeterred he was able to cradle the dog and bring her back to the safety of the lifeboat.
‘Cold, shivering and covered in mud the dog was rushed back to the RNLI station for a warming shower while the attending Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) attempted to contact the owner. The two walkers told the CRT that they had, by chance, met the dog’s owner at a local park who was out searching for the dog, which by now the dog had been missing for over 24 hours.
‘Discovering the owner’s’address a Coastguard unit was able to visit the owners home and bring her to the Lifeboat station to be re-united with her Brussels Griffon. Spending some time talking with the crew she talked about the ongoing search and her relief that Mini Mouse had now been found, but as the stressed dog had been reluctant to drink and unsure of how long the little adventurer had been stranded a trip to the vets will certainly be next.’