Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat gives Pongo a ride

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday afternoon 12 November 2019 Chiswick lifeboat crew received a phone call from the captain of the passenger vessel Golden Salamander who had seen a dog struggling in the water by Harrods depository.

The crew informed the Coastguard and immediately launched the lifeboat. After a few minutes they arrived on scene and saw a young black labrador trying to get out of the water up a steep bank, with his owner encouraging him from the towpath. The labrador ‘Pongo’ was unable to make any progress up the slippery bank and was visibly flagging. The crew approached the shore and called out, Pongo immediately swam to the lifeboat. The crew pulled Pongo on board, he was very cold and was comforted by the crew and wrapped in a blanket.

The lifeboat then went to some nearby steps where Pongo was reunited with his owner.

RNLI Helmsman Andy Mayo said ‘It was a good outcome for what would be a very distressing incident for the owner. He could see his dog struggling but had the good sense not to go in after Pongo and put himself at risk.’

Andy added ‘This was the 6th dog rescue for Chiswick lifeboat this year. It is reassuring that more dog owners follow RNLI advice to dial 999 and ask the Coastguard for help if their animal is in trouble in the river. We can be on scene with a few minutes and prevent a tricky situation becoming worse.’

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland. Since The RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames started in 2002, Chiswick Lifeboat has attended over 3,500 incidents and rescued over 1,750 people, and dozens of dogs. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 210500 David_Clarke@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678
Pongo the labrador safely on board

RNLI

Pongo the labrador safely on board
Pongo wrapped up warm

RNLI

Pongo wrapped up warm
Pongo being reunited with his owner

RNLI

Pongo being reunited with his owner

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.

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