A Muddy Dog Story

RNLI Lifeboat crew rescues young pup from banks of the Thames

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Chiswick Lifeboat web site

Though more used to saving lives on the river, Chiswick RNLI lifeboat came to the rescue of a young pup on Friday 26 October.

Helmsman Mark Finnis was the first to reach the scene of the incident close to Craven Cottage football ground, where a dog was in distress, running up and down the foreshore.

His owner was unable to reach him across a particularly deep stretch of mud. The lifeboat crew soon learned that “Junior”, a 7 month old Staffordshire terrier, had impulsively leapt over the river wall and landed unhurt in the thick mud of the foreshore, 15 feet below.

His owner had climbed down to the foot of a vertical ladder, but couldn't persuade the dog to come to her. Thankfully, she realised that it would be unsafe for her to cross the quagmire.

Approaching from the river, RNLI crewman Andy Mayo managed to calm down the now, very muddy dog and brought him into the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew reunited him with his very grateful owner a little way upstream at Crabtree wharf.

Although primarily dedicated towards rescuing lives at sea, RNLI lifeboat crews often have to deal with animals. When pets get into difficulty in the water, their owners often go in to and try to save them, sometimes with tragic results. On this occasion it was fortunate that the crew only had one life to save and “Junior” had his first trip in a lifeboat.

The RNLI has 233 lifeboat stations including four on the Thames. Chiswick RNLI lifeboat became operational on the 2nd January 2002. Since then it has responded to over 1,000 emergency calls. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 3,500 calls. The RNLI is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

October 30, 2007