Large donation made to Hemsby lifeboat for efforts to find missing dog Lulu

A cheque for £1000 was presented to Hemsby lifeboat by Tracey Mitchell, who dog Lulu drowned on the

A cheque for £1000 was presented to Hemsby lifeboat by Tracey Mitchell, who dog Lulu drowned on the Broads in October. - Credit: Submitted

A lifeboat service has been presented with a large cheque as a reward for their efforts in searching for a beloved family pet lost on the broads.

Lulu the Staffie who has been missing since she fell into the Broads last night.

Lulu the Staffie who has been missing since she fell into the Broads last night. - Credit: Archant

Four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Lulu was out on a walk with owner Stephen Green, from London, at about 7.15pm on Saturday, October 17 when she slipped out of her collar and fell into the water at St Benet's Abbey, near Acle and was swept away by the strong current.

Mr Green and partner Tracey Mitchell, who have a boat in Norfolk, were unable to get to her and the Broads Authority and Hemsby Lifeboat were called to help.

Lulu's body was found in the river a few days later, after the family had started a campaign to find Lulu, putting up posters around the area where she went missing.

At the time Ms Mitchell's nine-year-old son, Billy, didn't want to go home until the beloved family pet was found.

Hemsby Lifeboat and more than 30 concerned well-wishers joined the search for Lulu, often until early hours of the morning, and now the family have donated £1000 to the service.

'We've become great friends with everyone at the service,' Ms Mitchell said. 'They couldn't do enough for us and they were putting their lives at risk to help us.

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'Losing Lulu is still fresh, I still get a bit upset. We've got another rescue dog since, Rocky - he's 16 months old and full of beans - but he's not a replacement.'

The money donated to the lifeboat, plus £225 donated to Faith Animal Rescue in Hickling, was raised through an online fundraising campaign to aid in the search for Lulu.

'We're so grateful for all the help,' Ms Mitchell added. 'We've been in Norfolk for the new year meeting new people, and we went back to St Benet's Abbey to lay some wreaths - it was hard but it had to be done.'

Gerard Roadley-Battin, Hemsby lifeboat second coxswain, said: 'Although a sad day, Hemsby Lifeboat gratefully received the donation that will be used for the purchase of lifesaving equipment and would like to thank Tracy, Steve and the members of the public who helped in the search.

'Also to Carol Wayne who set up the Lulu fund on the 'Love the Norfolk Broads' website.

'As a reminder to boat users who have their pet cats and dogs on board, please invest in lifejackets for your pets for their and your safety.'

Since losing Lulu Ms Mitchell has set up the Facebook page 'Lulu's Legacy' to promote the sue of dog lifejackets out on the water.

'If it helps this not happen again, leaving another family devastated, then it will be worth it.'