Lifestyle & Human Interest

Rescue Volunteer 'Fearing the Worst' Finally Locates Dog Missing for 3 Days Stuck in Rockfall


A man and his dog got a little more adventure than they bargained for while out in northern England over the weekend. Thankfully, they both survived the ordeal, but that wasn’t a given when they first went missing.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution set out Friday and searched for the missing pair well after dark. The temperature dropped below freezing and the search became more urgent.

The crew was able to locate the missing man thanks to thermal imaging, and with some help from the coast guard, the man was rescued and given medical attention.

But Murphy, the man’s Jack Russell terrier, was nowhere to be found — not that day, not Saturday and not Sunday.

On Monday, Ed Thomas, a volunteer with the RNLI, decided to walk his own dog Olly near where the rescue took place to see if they couldn’t find the wayward pup.

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“When the search finished on Friday night, of course we were delighted to have found the missing man,” Thomas said, according to a news release from the RNLI. “But the fact his dog was missing left a real bittersweet taste.

“So when I went for my walk on Monday morning I deliberately went in the direction of the rescue with the faint hope that I might find the Jack Russell. But to be honest I was fearing the worst. If his lead had been caught in the rocks and the tide had come in it was going to be bad news.”

At some point during their walk, Olly paused, and Thomas realized he was alerting him to barking down in the rocks.

“When Olly reacted to a bark I went over towards to what looked like a recent rockfall,” Thomas continued. “Peeping out a small gap in the rocks I saw a little face staring back at me. It was the Jack Russell!”

Despite the fact that Thomas meant to rescue Murphy, the feisty little dog was in no mood to greet strangers. He’d been through an ordeal, after all — and to top it off, one of his back legs was pinned by the rocks.

Thomas was unable to move the rocks by himself and free the pup, so he called for backup. With the help of three others, he was able to free Murphy and get him back to his owners.

“When I first went toward the dog, he wasn’t exactly glad to see me,” Thomas said. “He was obviously in a bit of distress because his leg was stuck. But as soon as we got the rock off his leg he settled down and we were able to start walking back towards Saltburn with him.”

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“Some of the Redcar RNLI crew went searching for Murphy this morning and have found him alive,” RNLI said in a Monday Facebook post. “His owners have been informed. He is on the way to a vet for assessment.”

Many had been following Murphy’s story and were happy to hear that he had been found. Despite having been on his own for several days and stuck under a rock in cold temperatures, Murphy is reportedly doing well and is back home where he belongs.

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