TWO young animals thought they were 'ferret' last night after becoming stranded on rocks off the coast of Cambois last night.

The ferret's anxious owners had made desperate attempts to save their animals by wading into the sea on the Cambois bay rocks, just south of Newbiggin, but their best endeavours looked likely to be scuppered when neither Tootsie or Lucky responded.

With a desperate 999 call to the Humber coastguard a request to Newbiggin lifeboat to divert from their training exercise was made.

Once on scene volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew Mark Callan and Peter Leslie waded to the shore and began to decide how to deliver a successful outcome from such an unusual rescue scenario.

The crew found Tootsie and Lucky minutes away from drowning by the rapidly rising tide and anxious owners looking for a solution. The ferrets had declined offers of food so it was up to the lifeboat volunteers to use their 'animal skills' to lure the ferret duo to safety.

Mark Callan volunteer lifeboat crewmember at Newbiggin commented 'the RNLI train us to stay calm in difficult situations and we were able to calm the anxious owners and this probably helped pacify 'Tootsie' and 'Lucky' enabling them to be lifted safely from their rocky ledge hide out.

Pauline Cooksey Newbiggin Lifeboat Operations Manager said 'Newbiggin lifeboat have rescued animals before including dogs and we are always there to save a life be it human or animal. This is definitely a first for Newbiggin's 162 year history and probably the first ferret rescue in lifeboat history.'