Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Bilbo banned from the beach

Beautiful Sennen Cove which is just about as far west in Cornwall you can go before falling into the Atlantic is one of many beaches which is subjected to a dog ban. However until recently one canine was (sort of) allowed to be there. Penwith District Council were responsible for lifeguard provision and Britain's one and only lifeguard dog, Bilbo, a Newfoundland weighing in at 14 stone was effectively a member of the team. Newfoundlands, with their powerful swimming ability and webbed feet, have been recognised as being useful lifesavers and five year old Bilbo was a familiar sight on the beach or more correctly sitting on the back of a quad bike if he wasn't in the sea.

Lifeguard patrols in Sennen and at some other beaches have been taken over by the RNLI and it is they who have taken him off the 'front line'. To be fair to them they are between a rock and a hard place because of their concern about such a massive dog being on the back of a quad bike, it's the old Health and Safety thing again. I'm not sure how this can all be resolved but it seems odd that the local council were relaxed about Bilbo being on the quad bike whilst the RNLI are concerned.

For a picture of Bilbo it's worth clicking

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