Oscar lives to bark another day following rescue effort

THE owners of a Labradoodle got a scare last Thursday afternoon when the dog became trapped on Deadman’s Island at Loughros Mor Bay in Ardara.

Local businessman Matthew Whyte received a report of two dogs needing help at about 1pm.

The dogs, father and son Buddy and Oscar, first entered the water near the Ardara GAA grounds at Kentucky and decided to chase a few birds. Unfortunately, those birds were half a mile off shore.


Buddy, the chocolate coloured Labrador, managed to swim back to shore but the black labradoodle, Oscar, was stranded on an island in the middle of the bay.

Matthew Whyte said local resident, Patsy Gildea, helped confirm that the dogs were in difficulty.

“Patsy was able to see through his binoculars that the two dogs were struggling out in the bay. One of the dogs managed to swim back to shore but the second dog was stranded on the island. There was a high Spring Tide and we were worried that the dog might drown,” he explained.

Matthew contacted his sister Caroline and cousin Patrick who launched a jet ski from St John’s Pier and they managed to safely retrieve the dog and then returned the pet to its owner.

“Oscar is safely back with his owners and they’re both very appreciative,” Matthew Whyte said.

“It all started when my sister Mags spotted something swimming out in the water. It turned out to be two dogs. One of them disappeared while the other ended up stuck on the island. There was a big Spring Tide and the poor fella was stuck on the island which was covered in water soon after he was rescued,” he said.

“The dog was tired and shivering but it was grateful to be back in his owner’s arms,” he added.


Why is it called Deadman’s Island?

“We were always told that it you were ever caught out there when the tide was coming in you’d be dead men but, thankfully, this story has a better ending,” he added.

The dog’s owner Hugh Breslin thanked the Whyte family for all their help in bringing Oscar safety to shore.

“The dogs come to work with me but unfortunately a gate was left ajar and dogs being dogs decided to do a little exploring and got caught in the Spring Tide. The chocolate Labrador got in safe but the other dog got stranded on the island. The poor dog, who must have been out there more than three hours, was tired and afraid to swim over to shore. We called out to him but he wouldn’t budge. The Whyte family were fantastic,” he said.

“The dog slept well last night and he might think twice before venturing out there again. Thankfully, it has a happy ending,” he added.


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