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Walmer lifeboat crew rescue sea horse

Radio Course picture

Walmer Inshore Lifeboat launched on service to reports of a woman and a horse in trouble at sea off the Sandwich Bay Estate (Tuesday August 9th)

Walmer RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched after numerous 999 calls were made to Dover Coastguard at about 3:50pm reporting a rider and a horse in difficulties in the sea off Sandwich Bay Sailing Club.  In good conditions the crew in the D class lifeboat reached the scene in 15 minutes.

It transpired the rider was thrown off the horse in shallow water and the horse then swam directly out to sea.  The rider swam after the horse but, sensibly, decided to turn back when she realized she had no chance of catching her.

When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene, the horse called Shallimah was approximately half a mile offshore and was starting to tire. The crew managed to attach a line to its bridle. Then with careful coaxing and excellent boat handling they persuaded and assisted the horse back towards the shore. Once in shallow water the lifeboat crew, with help from Coastguard Rescue Officers from the Deal Team, were able to walk it ashore to be reunited it with its very grateful owner.

The crew then had a further surprise when they found that Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Chairman of the RNLI, Admiral the Lord Boyce was amongst the onlookers watching and photographing the incident from the beach. He had been enjoying a cycling trip out from his official residence at Walmer Castle when he came across his local crew in action.

Walmer lifeboat helmsman Andrew Howland said: “This was one of the most unusual and most satisfying rescues I’ve carried out whilst a lifeboat crew member. Leading a horse to water is one thing but persuading it to come out again is a completely different issue.”

Article By Walmer Lifeboat Press Officer, Andy Roberts

The photograph bottom right shows Lord Boyce, Andy Howland and Adam Cowell waiting to be interviewed live by South East Today for the 6.30 p.m. show on BBC One the following day.


Articles by Andy Roberts, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer


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