A SOGGY dog got out of its depth in a fur-raising drama off the Sunderland coast.
The black Labrador was trapped by the tide near Roker’s Cat and Dog Steps on Saturday.
Its worried owner, a man in his 40s from Seaburn, called 999 after he was unable to coax it to safety.
HM Coastguard, RNLI, and fire crews from Fulwell and South Shields fire stations spent nearly an hour-and-a-half rescuing the terrified pet.
A fire service rescue team lowered two firefighters over the sea wall, scaring the dog to a ramp at the end of the promenade, where coastguards snatched it to safety.
Sunderland’s Inshore and Atlantic lifeboats stood by in case their help was needed.
Coastguard watch officer Katy Gellathy said: “We received a call at 2.30pm and it was 3.50pm before the dog managed to get to safety with the conditions.
“The owner had attempted to rescue the dog himself but could not get to it and it was eventually rescued by the Coastguard team.
“The dog was unharmed when rescued and the owner was a little bit cold and shocked, but pleased to have their animal back.
“The safety message from the Coastguard is do not attempt to rescue an animal yourself – call the Coastguard.”
Crew manager Bryn Hanson, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fire officers attended the rescue at 3.05pm.
“One appliance attended from Fulwell fire station and two from South Shields fire station.
“The two crews performed a line rescue to help bring the dog back into shore.
“The tide had come in and covered most of the small strip of beach, but officers were able to scare it back in towards the shore before it was eventually lifted to safety by the Coastguard.
“The RNLI also attended in case their help was needed.
“All the teams worked well together in bringing the dog to safety.”
Coastguard Rescue Officer Neil Mearns repeated the warning that people should not go into the sea after their pets.
“When we arrived, our main concern was to ensure that the dog’s owner, members of the public and emergency services were not endangered by rough seas, which were breaking against the sea wall,” he said. “The dog was very fortunate to survive. This incident shows that not only people can be caught out by the tide.
“We would urge all beach users to make sure they are aware of tidal and sea conditions beforehand.
“Although it may be difficult when a family pet is involved, members of the public should never enter the water to rescue an animal.
“Many lives have been lost doing this and quite often, a dog will get out unaided.”
The dog suffered some minor cuts.