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'Motionless' sheepdog now doing fine after rescue from rising tidal waters

Tyson, a 12-year-old Irish Sheepdog, was trapped under rocks on Dublin’s South Bull wall as the tide began to rise…

THINGS WEREN’T LOOKING good for Tyson the Irish Sheepdog in the immediate aftermath his rescue from the water off Dublin’s South Bull Wall last Saturday evening — where he had fallen and become trapped in rocks.

“He was motionless. To be honest I thought he had hours to live,” Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard‘s Kyron O’Gorman told TheJournal.ie.

However — thankfully, the 12-year-old made a full recovery after a night by the fire. His grateful owners sent this photo of a healthy-looking Tyson to the coast guard team to thank them for their efforts in saving their beloved pet.

image[Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard]

Tyson’s owners realised he was missing after they returned to their car following a walk on the pier. They thought the sheepdog had run ahead to the car — but after a quick search of the area there was no sign. It was at that moment they noticed that their other pet — a labrador — had run to a spot on the sea wall and was pointing his nose in the direction of the rocks below.

A call was put in to the Coast Guard, and a five person team from Dun Laoghaire responded. The volunteers, however, were unable to reach the struggling animal from above — so put a call in to the nearby Poolbeg Marina to see if a boat could be sent down.

None were available at the Marina — so yet another call was made to the Dublin Sea Safari tour company, who sent one of their ribs down to assist in the rescue.

A Coast Guard volunteer equipped with climbing gear boarded the vessel, which was then maneuvered into place alongside Tyson as the rescuers battled against time and the rising tide to return the stricken pet to solid ground.

Once alongside, the dog was eventually freed from beneath the rocks without too much trouble. But he was was suffering badly from the effects of hypothermia.

“It didn’t look like there was much chance of him making it,” O’Gorman said.

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image[Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard]

However, the next day Tyson's owners again contacted the coast guard station --- this time with better, if less urgent news: after a night by the fire the sheepdog was back to his old self and "out playing in the back garden".

"An unbelievable recovery," is how O'Gorman put it.

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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