Two-year-old Russell leapt into the River Thames in pursuit of a fox.
Rescued by Port of London authority
A plucky dog who swam through London’s Thames Barrier is back on terra firma again, thanks to the quick-thinking efforts of the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Two-year-old Russell leapt into the River Thames in pursuit of a fox and swam through the central gate of the world-famous flood defence.
The Jack Russell Terrier was spotted paddling towards the Tate & Lyle sugar factory, while his owner shouted and waved from the side.
Luckily Port of London staff Kevin Reynolds and Guy Underwood had just begun a morning shift near the barrier. The pair leapt into action, launching the authority’s small work boat, Dory, before lifting the “superdog” out to safety.
When back on dry land, Russell was unable to stand from exhaustion, but otherwise appeared right as rain.
“We got to work thinking a person had fallen in and had no idea it was a dog,” said Guy. “How he was able to get through a barrier and so far to the other side of the river – I have no idea. I dare say most humans wouldn’t have gone that far. He’s a bit of a superdog.”
Russell’s owner Pedro, who works at a skip hire firm not far from the Thames Barrier, was relieved to have his “guard dog” back in one piece.
“We were so worried about him” said John. “He must’ve been after a fox when he fell into the water – he hates foxes with a passion. It’s incredible that he went through the barrier like some sort of ship. He usually won’t set foot out of the yard, even when the gate’s opened.”
He added: Russell seems ok now, he got over the experience pretty quickly. I’d like to buy a pint for the guys who rescued him, they did a brilliant job.”
Image (C) Port of London Authority