Search and rescue volunteers with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) risk it all to save others’ lives at sea. Sometimes, they even get to prove their commitment to rescuing all those in need by saving distressed animals.
In April 2021, a man and his dog were reported missing near Skinningrove in North Yorkshire, England. Incredibly, just as temperatures dipped below freezing, the Redcar RNLI lifeboat located the missing man (alive!) on April 9th using thermal imaging. However, they did not find Murphy, the Jack Russell Terrier he had with him.
Not Giving Up On Murphy
Obviously, the rescue had been a huge success, but there was still another life out there in need of help. RNLI volunteer Ed Thomas couldn’t stop thinking about that still at-risk pup. He clearly still had hope for Murphy.
A few days later, Thomas walked his dog Olly near the place the man had been rescued. Thomas explained:
“When the search finished on Friday night, of course we were delighted to have found the missing man but the fact his dog was missing left a real bittersweet taste. So when I went for my walk on Monday morning I deliberately went in the direction of the rescue with the faint hope that I might find the Jack Russell.”
Suddenly, he and Olly heard the sound of a dog barking. They followed the noises to where several rocks had recently fallen.
“When Olly reacted to a bark I went over towards to what looked like a recent rockfall. Peeping out a small gap in the rocks I saw a little face staring back at me. It was the Jack Russell!”
Completing The Rescue
Naturally, in this dire position and separated from his person for days, poor Murphy was terrified. But incredibly, he seemed to be okay, and at the very least, he was not underwater. Murphy growled at the rescuer approaching him.
“When I first went toward the dog, he wasn’t exactly glad to see me. He was obviously in a bit of distress because his leg was stuck.”
The rocks were too heavy for Thomas to move by himself, so he called a friend and two other RNLI volunteers for assistance. Together they freed the terrier’s stuck back leg.
“…[As] soon as we got the rock off his leg he settled down and we were able to start walking back towards Saltburn with him.”
Thanks to these volunteers’ commitment to even the community’s littlest furry members, Murphy is back with his family now. He’s already been looked after by a vet and is doing well.