LIFEBOAT volunteers rescued a small dog that had fallen from the banks of the River Tees last night, Thursday.

Redcar RNLI were called out in failing light after the dog's owner called the Coastguard to say the animal had fallen from a path by the Tees, close to Teesaurus Par in Middlesbrough.

The crew used searchlights and finally spotted the pet trapped among bramble bushes part-way down the river embankment.

Mike Picknett, helmsman of the Redcar lifeboat, said: "It was tricky spotting the dog. She was small and dark, and the light was fading fast.

"We found her tangled in some brambles. She’d cut her paw, but apart from that she was OK.

"Luckily her owner did the right thing by dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard. We never encourage pet owners to try and carry out a rescue themselves.

"So many times the pet is safe and the owner gets into difficulties."

 For more advice on what to do if your pet gets into difficulties in water, go to the RNLI website.