Man rescued from beach but his dog left behind to drown. Speciesism?

Is this an example of speciesism in action under the direst circumstances? It might be but I don’t know the full story. This article is both news and my opinion. I always provide my opinion and comment on news articles otherwise there’s no point writing about them.

In this story, a coastguard saved an injured walker who was with his dog at the time. They were on a beach and the tide was coming in. He was trapped. His dog stayed by his side.

The rescue services arrived in the form of a helicopter and a RNLI lifeboat and several coastguard teams.

The helicopter winched him to safety but despite their best efforts they couldn’t reach his dog who was swept away in the waters and drowned. The rescue happened at Perranporth beach, Cornwall last Wednesday.

Man winched from beach. This is a fictional illustration of the story.
Man winched from beach. This is a fictional illustration of the story.
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Question: why wasn’t the man able to carry his dog with him while he was being winched into the helicopter? I suspect that he was forbidden to do it by the rescue team in order to ensure his safety under what must have been a very difficult rescue. If that’s the case it is, in a way, a form of speciesism in which the dog becomes the lesser sentient being to the point where it can be disposed of if needs be.

A witness to the event, Bruce Hargrave, said that he was on the cliffs overlooking the beach when he heard the helicopter. Some passing holidaymakers had heard the man crying for help and they called the emergency services on 999.

Hargrave said: “I initially thought it was an exercise but once I saw a young girl crying I quickly realised it was a real incident. The tide was coming in fast and the beach below the cliff was underwater. The man had fallen onto the rocks and hurt his leg. His dog had stayed by his side.”

The man was taken by helicopter to Royal Cornwall Hospital near Truro. The search for his dog continued thereafter.

The dog was spotted sometime later in the water but despite exhaustive efforts he/she could not be saved.

A spokesperson sums up this act of speciesism which I can’t be critical about because ultimately humans are more important than animals on this planet. He said that it was the coastguard’s “primary duty” to save lives and conduct rescues. The lives of humans are more important than the lives of dogs or other animals it appears.

He added that “It is always challenging when our efforts do not result in the outcome we strive for. We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this particular mission. We extend our condolences to the individual who lost their beloved dog.”

RELATED: Beware of online cat and dog rescue scams

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