Retriever retrieved

Launch No: 252
Craft: Spirit of the Dart. D-702
Saturday, 12 March 2016
Location: Dittisham. River Dart
Photo: John Fenton

No sooner had the tables been cleared from the Dart lifeboat station after the annual free lifejacket check than the pagers sounded. Harlem, an 11 year old Golden Retriever had dashed into the river 200 yards upstream of the Dittisham Sailing Club boat park. The inshore lifeboat was initially asked to provide safety cover for the Fire Service on scene. Mike Bennett, from the sailing club was standing in the river beside the dog, which was up to its belly in the mud. The dog was rapidly tiring and it took the combined efforts of Mike Bennett, two from the Fire Service, a Coastguard and two of the lifeboat crew to free him. He was landed from the lifeboat on the sailing club slip and returned to his grateful owner.


Request Received 3:10pm
Time at incident 32 minutes
Time to recovery 1 hour, 20 minutes
Back on Service 4:44pm


Sea/River State River Calm
Wind Direction Northeast
Wind Strength 4-6 knots

Lifeboat Crew

Buster Hart (Helm)
Aaron Spicer
Stuart Millard

Shore Crew

Mark Strudwick (Tractor Driver)
Jerry Gilby
Paul Manley
Rob Clements

Deputy Launch Authority

Station address

RNLI Dart Lifeboat Station
Coronation Park
North Embankment
Devon TQ6 9RR

Contacting the Station

The station is unmanned. Find contact details for each member of the RNLI Dart team here.

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Visitor Centre address

RNLI Visitor Centre
9 South Embankment (Ground Floor)
Devon TQ6 9BH

Visitor Centre phone number

01803 832423

Visitor Centre opening hours

The shop is open from 26 April 2021 from 11am to 1pm. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and from 11am to 3pm on Wednesdays. It is hoped to extend these times again shortly.

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