Two young ferrets who were at risk of drowning were rescued by lifeboat volunteers at Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat station.What makes this story particularly appealing - apart from its furry protagonists - is the tone of the RNLI account of the incident, written by the local volunteer Press Officer, who has eschewed the usual utilitarian style of reporting in favour of a more literary approach:
The ferrets' anxious owners had made desperate attempts to save their animals by wading into the sea on the Cambois Bay rocks but their best endeavours looked likely to be scuppered when neither Tootsie or Lucky responded.Fortunately the intrepid rescuers were able to calm the animals (and, by the sound of it, their distraught owners) and lift them to safety from the rocks.
The crew found Tootsie and Lucky minutes away from drowning by the rapidly rising tide.
The icing on the cake is the accompanying photograph, taken by the author; showing two seemingly identical ferrets, it is carefully labelled 'Tootsie (left) and Lucky' - a level of attention to detail that some of our national newspapers would do well to emulate.
It may come as no surprise that the Press Officer, who has written a book about the lifeboat station, is also listed as their mechanic; it's surely good news for the crews and those who may need rescuing that the lifeboats are in such meticulous hands.
When every day seems to bring us another news report of man's inhumanity (or indifference) to man, it is reassuring to think there are still volunteers out there prepared to risk life and limb if necessary to save lives - and to rescue the occasional pet.
It's a while since we had a toast in the Tavern, so I invite you to raise a glass tonight to the men and women of the RNLI and to their Press Officer in Newbiggin by the sea.