#rnli – Lifeboat crew with Red Bay RNLI have successfully recovered a calf after it fell down a cliff face yesterday afternoon. The alarm was raised at 1.45pm when a local farmer contacted Belfast Coastguard requesting assistance after one of his calves had fallen over a cliff and became stranded on a part of inaccessible coastline.
Red Bay RNLI lifeboat crew launched and located the calf near Cushendun in county Antrim. After assessing all options it was decided that the only way to recover the animal safely was take it in a harness and gently float it a short distance out to sea. Then it could be guided and brought ashore further up the coastline where the farmer could safely collect the animal.
The lifeboat crew returned to the station to collect more crew and equipment for the challenging recovery. The calf was carefully swaddled in a lifeboat trailer net and tethered to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew then towed the animal slowly a quarter of a mile along to the coastline to safety and returned it to the relieved farmer.
Commenting on the unusual callout Red Bay RNLI lifeboat helm Paddy McLaughlin said, "This was not your usual callout for the lifeboat crew. When we heard the poor animal had fallen and was stranded, we felt we could help. With the RNLI you are trained for everything and we have great equipment. I'm not sure a lifeboat net has ever been used to recover an animal before, but there is a first time for everything. The calf did not seem to be injured after his fall and made his way back inland with the farmer after we dropped them off."