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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water

Are you tired of Health and Safety getting in the way of common sense? Well never mind Health and Safety gone mad, it's gone to the dogs now.

Here's a story about a life saving Newfoundland who is being hounded off a beach. Bilbo the Newfoundland is owned by an RNLI lifeguard, and has taken an active role in ensuring swimmers' well being in Cornwall as a beach rescue dog, this is as well as visiting schools to educate children about water safety, and attending charity events. Now Health and Safety officials want him banned from the beach.

Newfoundlands not only have an affinity with water, they have a naturally protective attitude to humans in the water. They are immensely strong swimmers, and can tow a boat, not just a person. In Italy, these gentle giants jump from helicopters to rescue swimmers in danger. If I was in trouble in the sea, a happy, hairy, Newfie heading my way, would be just what I wanted. Certainly more use than a Health and Safety representative paddling a canoe my way with his clipboard.

If like me, you think this is plain daft, you can sign a petition to support Bilbo, and Bilbo also has his own website, where you can find out more about this beautiful dog.

Here is the wording of the petition:

Bilbo is a seven-year-old Newfoundland dog, who has been credited with helping save three lives at Sennen Cove in Cornwall working alongside RNLI Lifeguards. Bilbo is banned from Sennen Beach from 1st May to 30th September between 8am & 7pm due to restrictions set up by Penwith District Council. He had previously been allowed on the beach during the period of the ban by travelling on the back of a quad bike. This option is no longer available due to Health & Safety reasons.

Because Bilbo has had no formal Lifeguard training he cannot be classed as a working dog and therefore cannot go on the beach due to the wording of the dog beach ban. There is no formal Lifeguard training for dogs, although Bilbo has had training from his owner who is a trained Lifeguard, and Bilbo has shown his natural ability as a rescue dog.

We are petitioning for Bilbo to be given official working dog status so he can to continue working on the beach or legislation, if none already exists, to allow him to do so.

Take care,

Julie x

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