Lifeboat crew spot a sheep stuck on a beach near Ilfracombe while out on exercise and head to the rescue.

ILFRACOMBE’S inshore lifeboat went ‘woolgathering’ yesterday (Thursday) evening after rescuing a lost sheep.

The volunteer crew were out on exercise aboard the Deborah Brown II when they spotted the stranded animal on a beach below The Torrs.

Crew members were put ashore to check on the sheep, which was obviously keen to be rescued as it headed straight towards them.

So the woolly casualty was taken aboard and returned to Ilfracombe Harbour to be reunited with its owner, who had been tracked down by those back at the lifeboat station.

“It’s good we got the sheep back to its owner,” said helmsman Stuart carpenter.

“We were concerned for its wellbeing, as it seemed exhausted and was surprisingly docile, but when it got into its owner’s vehicle it seemed to perk up a bit.

“The RNLI as a charity exists to save lives at sea, and helping animals not only could save their lives but also stops members of the public and pet owners from getting themselves into difficulty.”