Swanage Coastguard's new recruit a little shell-shocked after getting lost on the job

Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team's latest recruit has really come out of his shell lately with a daring great escape.

Girly, a seven-year-old tortoise, found his way to the local coastguard station on Monday after getting lost on a wander from home  and was immediately signed up for duty. 

The tortoise was collected by the team, to keep him safe, and looked after while the owner, a local who lived nearby, was tracked down.

But the curious reptile decided he was not yet done with his adventure as he broke out of the temporary pen made for him and went on the run overnight.

Local resident Girly went for a visit of the Swanage Coastguard Station this week

The sunny weather on Tuesday morning proved too hard to resist for the land-dwelling animal, however, as he was quickly found sunning himself.

Station officer Ian Brown said: "Thankfully at 9.30 this morning he was found warming up in the sun and detained in custody and straight back to the owner this time.

"The owner is very grateful but I won’t be chasing tortoises anymore. I didn't realise how quickly they can move."

He added that he has been with the coastguard for a number of years and had rescued a few things, but nothing as exciting as a tortoise.

He said: "While working at the station at lunchtime I was suddenly aware of something crawling in front of the station.

"It turned out to be a tortoise. I have rescued a few things over the years but this is a new one for me.

"Girly is smart. Girly was lost so came to find the local coastguard station."

Be smart like Girly. If lost, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

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