RNLI give cliff-jumper a new fleece of life

A sheep which was stranded for two days on a cliff ledge on the rugged West Cork coast has been given a new fleece of life after a daring rescue by crew from one of the country’s busiest lifeboat stations.

It is believed the animal fell from a field above the ledge some time on Saturday.

Several attempts were made to save the animal before the lifeboat crew were called on Monday.

The RNLI inshore lifeboat Bessie was launched, with helmsman Youen Jacob and lifeboat crew Ronan Callanan and Tadhg Collins on board.

They made their way to Eastern Hole near Baltimore Harbour, to see if they could help in the recovery.

Luckily, a break in the weather made it possible for them to position the lifeboat close to the cliffs.

The two crewmen then swam to the cliff base and climbed the rocks to where the animal was trapped.

They tied its legs and climbed down, transferred it to the lifeboat and returned to the pier, where a relieved local farmer was waiting with a trailer and some hay.

Baltimore RNLI operations manager Tom Bushe said this operation was one of their most unusual.

“It was certainly not the usual type callout for the lifeboat crew but we were happy to help,” he said.

“We’ve rescued many people before, but a sheep is a little different.”


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