Devon: Dartmouth lifeboat in night search after man followed dog into River Dart – 020413 1645z

(Video credit: officialrnli)

“A man who went to rescue his dog from the River Dart had to be rescued himself tonight after he followed his dog in to the water.

At just before 9pm Brixham Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a 999 call from a member of the public at Noss Marina near Kingswear. They reported that they could hear someone shouting for help.

Brixham Coastguard sent Berry Head and Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Teams and the RNLI lifeboat from Dartmouth to the scene. Whilst they were on their way another sailor, who had also heard the calls for help, pulled the man from the water.

It transpired that a couple had been travelling to their moored converted trawler in a small boat from a trip ashore. During the journey back to the boat the couple’s dog had jumped in to the water and he went in to the water after it.

Unfortunately the small boat was then out of control and the woman was swept to the shoreline were she was found by the lifeboat.

The calls for help had come from the woman on board the small boat. The man has been taken to hospital for treatment. The woman and dog are both safe and well.

Brixham Coastguard Watch Officer Matthew Thornhill said:
“Dogs are much better swimmers than humans. If your dog jumps in to the sea do not attempt to rescue it. This is because, like tonight, you are likely to get in to difficulty. If you do call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

“The water temperature is very cold at the moment so this man was lucky that the calls for help were heard and he was quickly pulled from the water. The cold can put your body in to shock. To give yourself the best possible chance of rescue recreational sailors and motorboaters should wear lifejackets at all times whilst on deck. These should be well maintained and should have a sprayhood, light and whistle if possible. Your lifejacket should have a crotch strap and you should use it.

“We believe that the man had been enjoying the Bank Holiday. The sea and alcohol do not mix. We advise against setting to sea if you have been or are drinking alcohol. If you have been drinking, your judgement will be impaired and you will be more likely to make mistakes, which at sea could be life threatening. Alcohol plays a contributory factor in a significant number of maritime deaths every year. “” – MCA

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