A RUNAWAY pup was rescued from mudflats in Westcliff thanks to paddle boarders and lifeboat volunteers.

Southend RNLI was called to the aid of two people on the mudflats in Westcliff that were trying to catch a dog that had been missing since Friday.

The pair were from Tilly's Angels group, which helps owners to find missing dogs, and had been on the lookout for Penny the pup.

Robert Kleider, one of the paddle boarders, arrived at Two Tree Island at about 11am and was approached by Nikki from Tilly's Angels dog rescue group, who informed him of the missing pooch.

He said: "We then paddled out to Seal Point and on our return, Ray Smith spotted the dog. We both approached the dog, but she ran off towards the pier.

"We followed the dog for about a mile across the mud whilst in contact with the coastguard.

"The hovercraft turned up after about 15 minutes, and with their help, we captured the dog.

"Then we had a ride in the hovercraft where the RNLI reunited the dog with her owner and then ferried us back to our boards.

"We are experienced paddle boarders who knew the area and the tides.

"No one should paddle in these temperatures without being experienced and confident in their ability."

They had been trying to locate the dog since it got spooked by another dog and ran away on Friday morning on Two Tree Island.

The paddle boarders spotted the dog at low tide and called for assistance as the tide was coming in.

RNLI Southend's crew headed out in its hovercraft to assist the paddle boarders, who had the dog about 800 metres from the shore.

The team collected Penny and returned her to her worried owners on the shore.

A spokesman for the RNLI said: "It was a great community response to help the owner be reunited, and very well done to the paddle boarders for spotting and rescuing Penny.

"Should you see someone in trouble or an object that isn’t right at the coast, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard."