Praise for fire crews after pet dog is rescued from water in Hartford

Frankie Lotham, 12, hugging dog Riley, with friend Alfie Nelson, 13.

Frankie Lotham, 12, hugging dog Riley, with friend Alfie Nelson, 13. - Credit: Archant

The owner of dog which had to be saved by firefighters after falling into the water at Hartford Marina has spoken of her distress at the incident.

Jan Jaffe and her son Frankie Latham, 12, had just moved into their house boat on May 26 when the family pet, Riley, fell into the water.

Jan and Frankie scrambled to try and save the eight-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier but he had become trapped underneath the decking and could not be reached.

Jan said: “We were all sat out on the decking watching him because we hadn’t had time to section off the decking and secure it for him. Then someone shouted out the dog was in the water.”

The 53-year-old then climbed over the railings but it was too late as Riley had disappeared underneath a concrete slab.

“My son and I were really distraught, we could hear him whimpering,” she said.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service crews were then called to the incident at about 8.05pm.

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“While we were down waiting for them my niece managed to put her hand between the house and the decking, and got hold of his collar but couldn’t get him to come out,” Ms Jaffe added.

One of firefighters then climbed into the water and pulled Riley under the concrete slab and into the water before bringing him to safety.

“I thought we had lost him, my son was just shouting ‘please save him’, and then when they got him out I started crying even more, we were just so relieved,” said Ms Jaffe.

Ms Jaffe has praised the quick response of the fire crews, along with her niece, Carla Crow, in helping to save their beloved pet.

She said: “I was absolutely distraught and my son was so upset by it all. Riley is just like part of the family – it was just a horrible time and we can’t thank them enough.”

A spokesman for the fire service added: “We know that people love animals and would risk their own lives to save a family pet or other animal in distress if we didn’t attend but our advice would always be to stay out of the water because of the hidden dangers in open water and to contact the RSPCA in the first instance.”