Dog’s constant barking saves man’s life

GAFIRS lifeboat

A man is lucky to be alive thanks to a dog. It’s constant barking while crossing a bridge alerted its owner to a person struggling in the water.

At around 8pm on Saturday night a man fell from a tender at Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport.

The strong tide caused him to drift around 300 metres towards Millenium Bridge where he managed to cling on to a pile in the middle of the channel.

In stormy conditions and cold seas, the man shouted for help. A walker called 999 after his dog became distressed while crossing the bridge and wouldn’t stop barking.

The coastguard dispatched an MOD marine police unit, Hill Head Coastguard Rescue Team and Gosport and Fareham Inshore Lifeboat Service (GAFIRS) to assist.

“The man is lucky to be alive,” says GAFIRS coxswain James Baggott.

“He was swept away from the tender and clinging to the pile and if the dog walker hadn’t raised the alarm the consequences could have been very different.”

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the police RIB was just pulling the man out of the water who was suffering from the effects of hypothermia.

GAFIRS lifeboat crews assisted the police and the coastguard rescue teams with first aid care until an ambulance arrived.

The man was checked over by paramedics and later released.

The incident was the seventh of the year for the independent lifeboat service, based at Stokes Bay in Gosport.

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