Double rescue after dog drama

PUBLISHED: 20:01 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:25 17 June 2010

A COURAGEOUS Sidmouth man had to be rescued after he saved his eight-month-old puppy from the clutches of death on Wednesday. The man was walking next to the River Sid when his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Holly, jumped over the railings and into the river

A COURAGEOUS Sidmouth man had to be rescued after he saved his eight-month-old puppy from the clutches of death on Wednesday.

The man was walking next to the River Sid when his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Holly, jumped over the railings and into the river.

The man then raised himself over the railings and jumped six foot into the shallow water.

He rescued Holly, who was caught in the swirl of the waterfall, but couldn't climb out of the river.

The man rang the police at around 1pm and said although he was not in any danger, he could not climb back up to the river bank.

Within ten minutes of the call, PCSO Jay Pepper arrived on the scene.

PCSO Pepper said: "I didn't know the exact location of where the man was but I saw a chap standing in water ankle deep and shouted to him.

"He heard me and started waving and then I saw the little dog wrapped up inside his jacket."

Simon Sparrow, Senior Coxswain, John Fowler and Philip Shepperd of Sidmouth Lifeboat arrived shortly after.

Simon said: "The concern was that because there was so much rain the night before the water could have been flowing a lot faster than it was."

A ladder from Sidmouth Lifeboat was lowered into the river and the man, with Holly still tucked in his coat, climbed to safety.

PCSO Pepper added: "He was very grateful but a little embarrassed and very apologetic."

Two police cars, two fire engines and an ambulance were also called to the scene but the man was safe and well by the time they arrived.

The man was checked over by paramedics but did not need further medical attention.

Sergeant Andy Turner praised PCSO Pepper's efforts: "I think she carried out a very effective rescue safely. I praise the calm way in which she dealt with this matter.

"PCSOs have received much criticism over the years but this is another good example of the excellent work of our PCSOs in the town."

Sergeant Turner added that the rescued man was a "hero" and "deserves a medal from an animal charity".


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