The search for the missing man and his dog, involving the Redcar RNLI crew, coastguards, mountain rescue, police and members of the public began on Friday 9 April and went into the night.
The man was located using the lifeboat’s thermal imaging equipment, as temperatures dropped to below freezing. The RNLI crew were able to guide a coastguard rescue team to the man’s location near Skinningrove, and from there he was guided to a nearby ambulance where he was assessed and treated for the effects of his ordeal.
At some point during the day, the man had lost his pet Jack Russell terrier. The dog was nowhere nearby and the rescue teams feared the worst.
On Monday 12 April, one of the Redcar RNLI volunteers involved in the original search, Ed Thomas, walked his own dog Olly in the location where the man was found. Olly picked up the sound of a dog barking coming from some rocks nearby. When Ed went to investigate and he found the missing Jack Russell beneath some large rocks.
Ed explained, "When the search finished on Friday night, of course we were delighted to have found the missing man. But the fact his dog was missing left a real bittersweet taste.
"So when I went for my walk on Monday morning I deliberately went in the direction of the rescue with the faint hope that I might find the Jack Russell. But to be honest I was fearing the worst. If his lead had been caught in the rocks and the tide had come in it was going to be bad news.
"When Olly reacted to a bark I went over towards to what looked like a recent rockfall. Peeping out a small gap in the rocks I saw a little face staring back at me. It was the Jack Russell!”
The rocks were too heavy to move so two other RNLI volunteers, Nathan Hobday and Cameron Bond came to help free the dog, which was trapped by one of its back legs.
Ed added, "When I first went toward the dog, he wasn’t exactly glad to see me. He was obviously in a bit of distress because his leg was stuck. But as soon as we got the rock off his leg he settled down and we were able to start walking back towards Saltburn with him.”
The grateful owners were contacted through a friend on social media and were reunited with their lost pet. He was taken to a local vet for checks and a warm bath and is now happily home, none too worse for his ordeal.