Chiswick RNLI Warn Dog Walkers Over River Safety

Dramatic videos released of rescues for Chiswick House Dog Show weekend

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The Chiswick RNLI have released two videos showing their lifeboat rescuing dogs and dog walkers who have recently got into trouble on the Thames.

The timing of the release is to coincide with the organisation hosting a stand at the Chiswick House Dog Show on 23 September. They say the two dog-related incidents highlight the value of engaging with dog owners to talk about safety near the river.

On Sunday afternoon 9 September Chiswick lifeboat launched to a report of a dog in the water in Wandsworth, the seventh this year. On arrival they found a woman up to her knees in the river clinging on to a ladder; she was hanging on to her dog who was mostly in the water. They were both immediately taken on board the lifeboat. After the crew had assessed that the woman had not ingested any water and was uninjured she was taken with her dog to Imperial Wharf.

Helmsman Glen Monroe commented ‘The woman was unable to help her dog back up the ladder, and the shoreside firefighters were unable to get to her; our attendance that prevented this situation from deteriorating. We always advise owners not to follow their dog into the water and put themselves at risk but to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. We can reach a distressed dog very quickly and return it safely to its owner.’

The sixth dog rescue was only two weeks earlier when Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew went to investigate reports of a dog in distress in the river near Strand on the Green.

A chocolate labrador Izzy was being swept away by the outgoing tide at Strand on the Green. She was being cared for that afternoon by a friend of the owner who was getting anxious as the dog was not able to reach the shore on her own.

When the lifeboat arrived Izzy was several hundred metres downstream and had been taken on board a small rib. She was distressed to the extent that the rib’s skipper was unable to drive the boat for fear that Izzy would jump off.

Dog walker clings onto ladder as Chiswick Lifeboat approaches. Picture: RNLI/David Clarke

The lifeboat came alongside so crew members Steve Alexander and James Antony could get Izzy on board and calm her down. The coastguard made contact with Izzy’s carers for the day so the crew were able to meet up with them and hand the dog back safely.

Duty helmsman Tony Coe said ‘In other incidents our crews have had to rescue dog walkers who have followed their dogs into the water. In this incident only the dog was in trouble and we were able to reunite her without any further complications’

RNLI crew will be on hand to talk to dog owners about past rescues of dogs and their owners and how to avoid an incident becoming more serious at the Chiswick House Dog Show.

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland. Since The RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames started in 2002, Chiswick Lifeboat has attended one 3,200 incidents and rescued over 1,620 people. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations and relies on volunteers to help their service.

For information on how to stay safe on or near water or to find your nearest lifeguarded beach,or find out more about their work, visit the RNLI’s website at

September 22, 2018

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