A Chihuahua puppy died after being swept into Dunbar Harbour's chilly waters during strong winds at midday on Monday 7th Jan.

Local fishermen raised the alarm and alerted Dunbar’s lifeboat volunteers who raced to help the puppy's owner who had jumped into the harbour in an attempt to rescue his dog. The owner managed to swim to the other side and grabbed a ladder. Another RNLI crew member brought the puppy ashore but it did not recover. An ambulance transferred the man to hospital for treatment.

The drama occurred as strong, gusting winds came across from Belhaven Bay. There were significant gusts caused by the winds twisting through the harbour mouth and rotating across the harbour.

Dog owners have been urged by the RNLI to keep dogs on a lead when close to water and not to go after them if they get into difficulty. Move to a place the animal can reach safely and call. In most cases, the dog will probably get out by itself. If worried, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

An RNLI spokesman said: "The crew's thoughts go to the dog's owner and family."

photo by Kenny Maule