Ferrets rescued in first for lifeboat crew

Tootsie (left) and Lucky show their appreciation after their lifesaving ordeal.
Tootsie (left) and Lucky show their appreciation after their lifesaving ordeal.

Two young ferrets were rescued from rocks in a first for Newbiggin Lifeboat.

The ferrets’ anxious owners had made desperate attempts to save their animals by wading into the sea from the Cambois Bay rocks on Tuesday evening.

But their best efforts looked to be scuppered when neither Tootsie or Lucky responded.

After a 999 call to the coastguard, Newbiggin lifeboat was diverted from a training exercise to attend.

Once on scene, volunteer RNLI crewmen Mark Callan and Peter Leslie waded to the shore to find a successful outcome to the unusual rescue scenario.

They found Tootsie and Lucky minutes away from downing by the rapidly rising tide.

The ferrets had declined offers of food to entice them to safety, leaving Mark and Peter to put their animal skills to the test to lure the ferret duo to safety.

Mark said: “The RNLI train us to stay calm in difficult situations and we were able to calm the anxious owners and this probably helped pacify Tootsie and Lucky, enabling them to be lifted safely from their rocky ledge hide out.”

Pauline Cooksey, Newbiggin Lifeboat operations manager, said: “Newbiggin lifeboat has rescued animals before, including dogs, and we are always there to save a life be it human or animal.

“This is definitely a first for Newbiggin’s 162-year history and probably the first ferret rescue in lifeboat history.”