Barking dog alerts owner to man in sea

March 6, 2022
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The man, in his mid-50s, fell from a tender, a small transport boat, near Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport on Saturday evening.

Due to stormy conditions and a strong tide, he was swept away 300m (985ft) towards Millennium Bridge.

The dog walker rang 999 after her pet would not stop barking near the bridge, alerting her to his calls for help.

‘Hear him calling’

She said Poppy, a black cockapoo “just suddenly started barking, when she stopped I could hear somebody shouting for help so I called the coastguard.”

“My husband had a flashlight and shone it out but we couldn’t see anything – we could just hear him calling.”

She said when the coastguard arrived: “They asked us to keep the torch shining and they went out looking for him.”

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous added: “We were just so relieved to hear he had been rescued.

“It was just fortunate that we were there at that time. – how frightened he must have been.”

She added that after returning home Poppy was “spoilt with treats – and we’ve started calling her Lassie!”

‘Incredibly lucky’

The coastguard sent a marine police unit, coastguard rescue team and independent lifeboat service Gosport and Fareham Inshore Lifeboat Service (GAFIRS).

The man, found clinging to a post in the water, was pulled on to the police boat and treated for hypothermia by an ambulance crew.

GAFIRS coxswain James Baggott said: “He was incredibly lucky. Being in the water for 30 minutes at this time of year, in a storm force gale with the sea temperature as it is, he was very lucky to survive.

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

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