A dog that went missing after falling overboard from a boat off the coast of Falmouth and St Mawes has been found in an incredible chance discovery by two kayakers.
Earlier today owner Wayne Booth appealed for help finding his short-haired border collie Toobs – also known as Joanah – who he thought could have swum to shore after ending up in the water off St Mawes.
Despite a huge police and coastguard search on land and sea – including thermal imaging – going on until the early hours of this morning, nothing had been found.
Meanwhile cousins Harry Homer and Xander Meredith, both aged 19 and at the start of their holiday from Warwickshire were kayaking around St Mawes – and discovered a dog hiding in a cave near the lighthouse only accessible by water.
Toobs safely back at home and resting
Unbeknown to them they had chanced upon missing Toobs, who had managed to swim more than two and a half miles from where she went missing, according to the boat’s navigation system, before finding the cave to rest in.
They phoned their dad, who came round to pick up Toobs on his boat and take her to the safety of shore and put up a post on Facebook – leading to an emotional reunion with Wayne at St Mawes, followed by many victory drinks at the Victory Inn for her rescuers this afternoon.
Wayne, who lives with ten-year-old Toobs on a boat just off Falmouth’s Prince of Wales Pier, told the Packet: “It’s absolutely amazing. They’re really nice lads as well.
“The greatest of thanks to them. If it wasn’t for them just adventuring in to that cave we might never have found her.
“I just keep breaking down.”
They had been out fishing last night when at some point between 10.30pm and 11pm Toobs fell or jumped into the water.
When he realised she had gone Wayne stopped and discovered that the lures on the nets had been ripped away – leading him to fear that she was injured, or wrapped around in them, which could have prevented her from swimming.
Incredibly Toobs had just one lure stuck in her, in her shoulder, which Xander – who is about to start a degree in veterinary science in September – removed.
Otherwise she appears to have no ill effects from her night of adventure, aside from being extremely tired.
Harry and Xander are staying in the area for the next week and Wayne plans to take them out on his boat back to the area that Toobs was discovered, for a celebratory barbecue.
Despite her advancing years, Wayne described Toobs as a “fast and fit dog” who is actually a champion in bikejör – similar to dog sledding but using mountain bikes.
Wayne and Toobs competing in bikejör
She made it through to the British championships six years ago, coming sixth against 2,000 dogs, and with no competition since she remains the reigning champion in the south west.
Toobs can even climb the ladder at the Prince of Wales Pier, with Wayne also thanking the pier master there helping publicise the hunt for Toobs.