The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is warning people not to put themselves in danger to rescue their dog after an incident in Scarborough

The UK Coastguard has issued a warning after a woman, who went into the sea to save her pug dog, had to be rescued by the RNLI.

The 40-year-old dog owner got into difficulties at Scarborough Beach late yesterday afternoon.

Two years previously, a man died at the same spot when he went into the sea to rescue his dog.

“We urge members of the public, who are concerned about the safety of their dogs at the beach or along the cliffs to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Please do not risk your life to save your dog”, stressed Maritime Operations Controller for the UK Coastguard, Bev Allen.

“Every year the UK Coastguard deals with a number of incidents around the coast where people have risked their own lives, either to save dogs from the sea or cliffs, sometimes with tragic consequences”, she continued.

The woman, who was clutching her dog and a lifebelt thrown to her by a member of the public, was rescued from the water by the Scarborough inshore RNLI lifeboat which was already in the area on exercise.

Helmsman Matt Marks said: “The casualty was clinging to the lifebelt and starting to go under because of the backwash from the Spa wall”.

The Scarborough and Burniston Coastguard Rescue Teams were also sent to the scene to assist with the rescue, and a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was scrambled.

The woman and her dog were brought to shore, cold and shocked, but otherwise unharmed.

Allen warned that at this time of year, sea temperatures can be fatal.

“At this time of year the sea is just 6 degrees centigrade, as cold as it gets; if you are swept out to sea in these conditions, your likelihood of survival will be minimal,” she said.

“This woman was incredibly fortunate that a lifeboat happened to be exercising nearby; in incidents like these, seconds can mean the difference between life and death” added Allen.

Earlier, the crew of the Skerries RNLI lifeboat in Ireland were tasked to rescue a woman who became stranded on rocks while trying to rescue a dog.