Missing for well over a week, the owners of Sprig, the Springer Spaniel, were gradually losing all hopes of finding their dog back. However, thanks to the efforts of a few brave volunteers of the UK's RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), 9-year-old Sprig was not only found in good health, but was also reunited with his family. The RNLI rescued the dog that was found trapped on the base of a coastal cliff ledge -- thought to be among the highest cliff ledges in the UK.
According to BBC News, Sprig went missing on the morning of August 22 from Minehead, Somerset, when he was out with his owners for a walk. They cannot recall how they lost the dog and are equally bewildered to learn that he was eventually found from a cliff ledge. It is now believed that the dog was apparently stolen after it had wandered away from the owners. The story of how Sprig was eventually found is remarkable as well.
The RNLI, who was conducting a routine training exercise near the cliffs, initially spotted a few sheep trapped on the cliff ledge, reports the North Devon Journal. As they gradually neared the ledge, they also saw the unusual sight of a dog -- also trapped there. According to Andrew Escott, who was the on the boat, the dog was trapped about 30 feet above the water.
"It was about 30ft (9.2m) above the water and we couldn't work out how it had got in that position. He had clearly been there for some time because he was licking water off my dry suit and he did seem rather pleased to see us."
As the boat neared the cliff, Escott jumped off the boat on to the shore. He reached the dog who was obviously very glad to see him there. In fact, the dog was so badly in need of water that Sprig actually licked the water off his dry suit. He lowered Sprig to safety and on to the boat. The entire operation was captured on video which has now been uploaded to YouTube.
Mr. Escott added:
"He had clearly been there for some time because he was licking water off my dry suit. And he did seem rather pleased to see us."
At the time of Sprig's rescue, the RNLI volunteers had no idea he was a lost dog and that his owners were looking for him. The dog was eventually taken to the Minehead lifeboat station and given food and water. Mark and Susie Sanders, the owners of Sprig, were eventually notified about the finding of their dog and the family has since then been reunited.
"I just could not believe it when we had a call to say the lifeboat crew had spotted him and rescued him. It's amazing, the best news ever," Sprig's owners told reporters.
[Image Via BBC News]