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Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers rescue lucky Luther after cliff fall

Lifeboats News Release

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 12.20pm on 9 December after a dog fell approximately 30 metres from Orcombe Point.

L to R: Helm, Ian Taylor; owner Philippa Ruggier with Luther and Michael; Crew volunteers, Guy Munnings and Harry Griffin

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers with Luther, Philippa and Michael after the rescue

Philippa and Michael were walking Luther, a 12 month-old half German Pointer half Hungarian Vizsla on their first date, to Sandy Bay and back when he slipped down the cliff face after looking at the view. They called 999 and asked for the Coastguard who in turn, tasked Exmouth lifeboat volunteers.

On scene within four minutes, Crew volunteers discovered Luther on the beach and took him to safety on board the D class lifeboat. Once back at the station, they bandaged his cut paw which was sustained during his fall.

Exmouth RNLI Community Safety Officer, Dave Littlefield said:

‘We do our best to advise the public to keep their dogs on leads when walking along the cliffs. Philippa and Michael did the right thing to call 999 and not attempt rescue themselves as this could have put them in danger themselves.’

Since the rescue, the station has heard that Luther, a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog is due to have surgery to his dewclaw digit on 12 December. He will then begin his career as a charity therapy dog at a school in Exeter when fully recovered.

Notes to Editors


(credit: Exmouth RNLI)

PR091217 Luther with Crew volunteers and Philippa and Michael.

PR091217 Helm, Ian Taylor bandaging Luther’s paw

PR091217 Crew volunteer, Harry Griffin washing Luther’s legs after sustaining a cut.

For more information please telephone Emma Tarling, Exmouth RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07837 810082 or email:

Michael holds Luther still during some canine casualty care

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Helm, Ian Taylor bandages Luther's cut paw
Crew volunteer washes Luther's legs after sustaining a cut during the fall

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Crew volunteer, Harry Griffin washes Luther's legs after the rescue

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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