A drowning Labrador was rescued in River Thames this week.
Several emergency service rescue boats rushed to the scene when the dog’s owner tried to jump in the river to save him.
Luna, a black Labrador Retriever, fell in the river near St. Thomas’ Hospital. Three rescue boats went out to save the Lab, but nearby workers on a barge got to the Lab first, and rescued the distressed dog.
Firefighters from the Lambeth River boat station, rescuers from the Marine Policing Unit and RNLI were all called to the scene at around 9:15am.
In a celebratory tweet, the London Fire Brigade posted: “Black lab called Luna landed in the Thames. She was rescued by our fire boat & Marine Police Unit.”
But eye-witness Denise Lawes said the heroes were really the three men working on the barge who took the distressed dog out of the water.
“I saw the tweet (by the Marine Policing Unit) and thought, hang on, it was the three men on a barge who saved the dog, not you,” she said.
She also said that the Labrador would not have survived much longer in the river and that the dog’s owner was trying to jump in to rescue him.
“He was in there for about five minutes and was bobbing up and down. If it had been left a minute or two longer I think he would have drowned. The men dragged him into their boat and a few seconds later rescue boats arrived from every direction,” Lawes told BT.com. “I heard the lady screaming that she wanted to go in after him. She said if her dog was going to die she wanted to die with it.”
When the rescuers arrived, they helped get the Labrador Retriever onto the police boat.
The London Fire Brigade spokesperson warns people of the dangers of following pets into the river.
“It can be very distressing if you see your dog in the water with no way of getting out but it’s very important that you don’t go in after it as you could be putting yourself at great risk. Call 999 and the emergency services will attempt the rescue,” he said.