Woman rescued from Thames after jumping in after her stranded puppy

A dog walker was rescued from the Thames after she was trapped trying to save her four-month-old puppy.

Sam Swinscoe, 46, was stranded in waist-high water after climbing in to reach her pet, Monty, who had fallen from the riverside path in Hammersmith. The Jack Russell mix, rescued two months ago from Battersea Dogs’ Home, was chasing a seagull when he tumbled over a low wall.

The mother-of-two, who had been walking Monty with a friend, told the Standard: “He fell probably about 12ft straight into the Thames. I was in sheer disbelief. Luckily the tide was half in, so he fell into water. 

“He was just swimming around in the Thames, still trying to get to the seagull. I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t really think about it. I took my jumper off, I took my jacket off, and climbed over.”

Ms Swinscoe descended a ladder before jumping the last metre into the water and finding her footing on a submerged concrete platform. 

After swimming back towards his owner, Monty was “beautifully airlifted” onto the river bank by onlookers with the help of a passing dog walker’s extendable lead, Ms Swinscoe said. 

But she was trapped because she could not reach the ladder. A lifeboat crew from Chiswick RNLI then pulled her to safety as a crowd looked on cheering. A witness said the first words she uttered as she was helped into the boat were: “This is going to make my friend late for yoga.” Ms Swinscoe believes she was in the water for up to 20 minutes, but added: “I have no recollection, I had so much adrenaline going through my veins. I don’t remember being cold in the water at all. At the time I jumped in, the only thing I was thinking about was my dog.” She praised the RNLI rescuers as “beyond fantastic”. As for Monty she said: “He had a great time, he didn’t notice anything.”

Her rescue on Monday morning came just over a week after the RNLI saved another dog — this time a Chihuahua — along with its owner from the rising tide again in Hammersmith. The pair got stuck after the owner climbed  15ft down the muddy bank to get the dog. The latest incident was the ninth dog-related rescue the Chiswick RNLI crew has been called to this year. 

Helmsman Glen Monroe said: “We learnt that the woman’s friend had immediately called London coastguard on 999. Her swift action significantly reduced the time it took for us to reach the casualty. 

“It was a cool morning, with wet clothing in a fierce easterly wind she was cooling rapidly. The fast response meant she needed no further treatment beyond the initial first aid.”

Woman rescued from Thames
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