Safety reminder after dog is rescued from lake

Wed 20 Jun, 2018

Banner reminding people to keep dogs on leads near water or ice

Firefighters are reminding dog owners to keep their pets on leads when near water following an incident at the Blue Lagoon in Bletchley last night (Tuesday 19 June).

Crews from Bletchley and Newport Pagnell, wearing drysuits, rescued a miniature husky which got into difficulty in the middle of the lake. They praised the owners for calling 999 rather than going in after it.

Station Commander Steve Cook, who also attended the incident, said: "A large number of water-related incidents we attend are as a result of owners attempting to rescue their dogs from the water, which is why we strongly advise owners to keep dogs on a lead near water.

"Should your dog get into difficulty in a lake, river or other waterway, please don't put your safety or other people’s at risk by going in after it. The water is often a lot colder than you expect and it can impact on your physical capabilities. 

"Stay calm and dial 999 for help. Look for any landmarks that you could describe to the operator, and explain as clearly as possible where you are and the name of the river, lake or canal.

"Remember, firefighters are trained and equipped to deal with these incidents."

Steve offered the following additional advice:

  • Avoid throwing sticks or balls near water for dogs - they will go after it if they think you want it back, even if you've thrown it too far or into dangerous water.

  • Wet riverbanks, steep edges or jagged rocks can make it hard for a dog to scramble out and be a slip risk for owners.

  • Don't lean into water and try to lift your dog out - you can topple in.

  • If your dog has struggled in the water it may have inhaled water and should see a vet as dogs can drown after the event if water has entered the lungs.

Newport Pagnell Fire Station is home to one of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's two Water Rescue Units, comprising specially trained and equipped firefighters, 4x4 vehicles and boats. The other one is at Beaconsfield Fire Station.

The Water Rescue Units enable crews to carry out rescues both on the water and from the banks. In addition, all of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's firefighters are trained in water awareness and bankside rescues.