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Owners' terror as dog swept down river after jumping in chasing a duck

PUBLISHED: 16:44 05 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 October 2019

River the yellow labrador got swept away in the River Great Ouse, at Ongar hill, near King's Lynn, after she jumped in chasing a duck. Photo: Michael Potter

River the yellow labrador got swept away in the River Great Ouse, at Ongar hill, near King's Lynn, after she jumped in chasing a duck. Photo: Michael Potter

Michael Potter

Owners of a dog have told of their terror after seeing their pet swept down river after it jumped in chasing a duck.

River the yellow labrador got swept away in the River Great Ouse, at Ongar hill, near King's Lynn, after she jumped in chasing a duck. Photo: Michael PotterRiver the yellow labrador got swept away in the River Great Ouse, at Ongar hill, near King's Lynn, after she jumped in chasing a duck. Photo: Michael Potter

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called out to Terrington St Clement, King's Lynn, at around 10am this morning, to rescue a dog from the Great Ouse.

A golden labrador called River, owned by Michael Potter, 39, from Outwell, a village between Wisbech and Downham Market, was swept away down river after jumping in after a duck.

Mr Potter is a wildfowler and often visits Ongar Hill with his dog River to shoot ducks which she then retrieves.

No stranger to the water, River jumped in to fetch the duck Mr Potter had just shot down, but on this occasion her owners said she just kept swimming, and was quickly swept away by the current out of his sight.

Not knowing what to do, Mr Potter called 101, and was directed to King's Lynn's fire and rescue crew who launched their swift-water rescue team and surface rescue boat to look for the dog.

Thinking she was still in the water, Mr Potter's wife decided to drive her car upstream a couple of miles until she reached part of the river bank to see if see could see River, and to her relief, in the distance, she spotted a very muddy dog.

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An hour after she had disappeared, River was found and she had managed to pull herself out of the river.

The incident manager for King's Lynn Fire Station said: "We deployed the boat into the river, but luckily the dog managed to get out.

"Our concern was if the owner took it upon himself to jump in the water after his dog, which would have also put him in danger.

"He did the right thing by getting in touch with us because we have a specialist rescue team in King's Lynn.

"The river Ouse is a fast-flowing river and not one you could confidently swim in. It's very dangerous."

Mr Potter and his wife have said River is now safe at home, fast asleep after a very eventful day but they will not be taking her back to the river anytime soon.

Mr Potter's wife said: "It was very scary for us all when we didn't know if she was still in the water.

"Michael was very upset when he thought he had lost her, she's our family dog. But we have all calmed down and River is okay.

"We would like to thank the fire services for their help today."

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