Highlands & Islands

Man in hospital after dog rescue at Fort William

Lifeboat. Pic: RNLI
Image caption A lifeboat was launched but the crew were later stood down

A man has been treated in hospital for hypothermia after going to sea in his kayak to rescue his dog.

The RNLI said the man's pet had gone into the water at Caol, near Fort William, at about 2057 BST on Tuesday.

He managed to get the lurcher, but his craft capsized and he spent 90 minutes in the sea. The dog reached the safety of a small island unaided.

Members of Corpach Coastguard Team found the man and helped him back to shore.

Oban lifeboat was launched, but later stood down.

The RNLI said: "Fortunately the owner was wearing a lifejacket and, after one and a half hours in the water, he managed to reach the shore from where he was rushed to hospital suffering from hypothermia."

'Extremely lucky'

The alarm was raised after a member of the public heard the man's shouts and called the police.

Corpach Coastguard Team members Ewen Leslie, Dawna Connolly and Jason Thurston searched for the man using powerful torches.

After finding him in the dark they helped him to the shore and he was taken to Belford hospital in Fort William.

The coastguard team remained on the scene and were about to give up looking for the dog when they heard it barking and rescued it from the island.

Phil Wren, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Fort William sector manager, said the man was "extremely lucky".

Mr Wren said: "The water temperature is only about 5 degrees and the air temperature was close to zero.

"Luckily he was wearing a lifejacket but the clothing he was wearing was inadequate for immersion in water."

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