One man and his dog rescued by Gravesend RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The charities lifeboat was launched at 7pm on Friday (7th October) to reports of two people and a dog in the water near Harrisons wharf, Purfleet, Essex in Long Reach on the River Thames.

Once the lifeboat was close to the reported area the crew started to search nearby jetties with their search light in case the two individuals and the dog had drifted in the outgoing tide.

The lifeboat crew were alerted to the exact location by a member of the group using their flashlight on their mobile phone. Approaching with caution as it was shallow and rocky where a person was spotted with the dog on their lap underneath a disused jetty. It was confirmed by the group that this was the only person now in need of assistance as the other person had managed to get out of the water just before the lifeboat arrived.

It transpired that the small dog had jumped in to the river from height after chasing a bird and two of group of three had attempted to rescue it before it was swept away by the tide.

The casualty and dog were taken onto the lifeboat, with no injuries to the dog or people they were landed back ashore to the footpath above. They then made their way back home via the river path.

The lifeboat was then released from service and returned to station.

Although the outcome of this rescue was a positive one we always urge owners never to go in after their pets.

Advice for dog-owners

• Always keep your dog on a lead when walking close to cliff edges or rivers. If they fall or jump, do not go after them. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

• Don’t go in the river after your dog - Move to a place they can get to safely and call them. Most will get back by themselves. If they are unable to then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

• If your dog gets stuck in mud, don’t go in after it. Move to a place they can get to safely and call them. Most can get out by themselves. If they are unable to then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Notes to editors

Gravesend is one of four lifeboat stations on the River Thames that are operated by the RNLI. Gravesend Lifeboat covers an area from Holehaven, at the western end of Canvey Island, to the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, a distance of 26 miles. A patch which covers Kent, Essex and South London.


RNLI media contacts
• Alan Carr, Gravesend RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
07775 822584, 
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.