Chiswick Lifeboat Fishes Dog Out Of River

Flossy fell from two-path and was unable to make her way to shore

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On Saturday 3rd October the afternoon watch of Chiswick RNLI heard a woman running in panic along the tow path and shouted up to the Lifeboat Station "please help me"

In transpired that her dog, Flossy, had fallen into the river and was unable to make her way to shore.

After notifying London Coastguard the crew launched the E class RNLI lifeboat and Helmsman Mark Turrell steered it upstream.

The crew soon located the dog but when she saw the lifeboat approaching she turned and tried in vain to swim away against the strong ebb tide.

According to the crew's report, Flossy was at the end of her strength as Mark Turrell manoeuvred the lifeboat behind her. Volunteer crew member Chris Rose was able to grab hold of her collar and pull her to safety aboard the lifeboat. After returning to the moorings the crew re-united the dog with her very grateful owner.

Mark Turrell told, "Flossy was lucky she had fallen into the river close to the lifeboat station as there was a very strong tide running; while trying to swim against it she become very tired very quickly. Thankfully we were on scene within two minutes and Flossy was soon back on dry land".

In a follow up phone call on Sunday, Flossy’s owners confirmed that she was well and "had fully recovered from her ordeal". They were very grateful and commended the crew on their rapid response.

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 and try to save them, sometimes with tragic results.

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 1,400 emergency calls. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 4,500 calls. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and Government and is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

October 5, 2009