A dog who survived swimming through the Thames Barrier on Tuesday (10 May) was successfully rescued by the Port of London Authority.
The young Jack Russell had somehow managed to make his way through the central gate of the world-famous flood defence and was paddling towards Tate & Lyle Sugars, before being spotted by a concerned dog walker on the bank.
Guy Underwood and Kevin Richards were manning Port of London Authority boat Impluse when they were alerted to the struggling terrier. After quickly switching to a more convenient small work boat, the rescue pair were able to get close enough to the dog to pluck him from the water, who was then barely able to stand from exhaustion.
Guy said of the endevour, “We got to work thinking a person had fallen in and had no idea it was a dog. How he was able to get through the barrier and so far to the other side of the river – I have no idea. I dare say most humans wouldn’t have got that far.”
The soggy doggie was quickly identified as Russell, owned by John Pedro who works at a skip hire firm half a mile away from the Barrier.
John was said to be ecstatic to have his little “guard dog” back. He thinks Russell, who’s named after TV comic Russell Howard, might have been distracted by something to have fallen in the river.
“We were so worried about him”, said John. “He must’ve been after a fox when he fell in the water – he hates foxes with a passion. It’s incredible that he went through the barrier like some sort of ship. He usually won’t set foot out of the yard, even when the gate’s opened.”
He added: “Russell seems ok now, he got over the experience pretty quickly. I’d like to buy a pint for the guys who rescued him, they did a brilliant job.”