An RNLI crew has made what is thought to be the very first ferret rescue in lifeboat history.
Two young ferrets called Tootsie and Lucky were in danger of drowning after clambering onto a rock and being caught out by the rapidly rising tide.
The ferrets’ anxious owners had made desperate attempts to save their animals by wading into the sea on the Cambois Bay rocks in Blyth, Northumberland.
But their best efforts failed when neither Tootsie or Lucky responded.
A desperate 999 call was made to Humber coastguard, and a request was made to Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat to divert from a training exercise.
Once on scene, volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew Mark Callan and Peter Leslie waded to the shore and tackled the unusual rescue scenario on Tuesday night.
The crew found Tootsie and Lucky minutes away from drowning by the rapidly rising tide, and the anxious owners looking for a solution.
The ferrets had declined offers of food, so it was up to the lifeboat volunteers to use their ‘animal skills’ 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.
“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: “Our lifeboat has rescued animals before, including dogs, and we are always here 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 RNLI lifeboat history.”