Volunteers at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station assembled at 7:50pm on Friday May 22, to go to the assistance of a female and her dog in the River Rother at Rye Harbour. When the volunteer RNLI crew arrived on the scene at 8pm, the lady was clinging to an access ladder with one hand and her dog with the other.
Whilst out walking with her husband and their spaniel, the dog, running around and chasing seagulls, ran over the retaining wall, falling into the River Rother. The owners encouraged the dog to swim down river towards the beach, where they planned to fish him out.They managed to get as far as Lime Kiln Cottage when the dog started showing signs of distress and exhaustion. The owner climbed down an access ladder on the side of the river wall. Stepping off the ladder into the water, she was taken by surprise at its unexpected depth. Not being a proficient swimmer, she only just managed to grab hold of the ladder with one hand and her dog with the other.
Unfortunately, the owner was not strong enough to carry the spaniel back up the ladder. Her husband was unable to help his wife due to limited mobility. At 8:05pm the crew had got the lady and her dog back over the wall on to dry land. After being checked over by paramedics at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, they were able to go home.
Tony Edwards, Acting Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station said: “this rescue had a happy outcome but it could have had a much different conclusion. Never put yourself in danger. If you see someone in danger, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard”.