Ferry staff spring into action to save ‘drowning’ puppy

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STAFF at a ferry port sprang into action after a customer reported an exhausted puppy swimming near the pier.

Scott Harvey, Mike Parsons and Dave Prangnell, workers on Wightlink’s ferry, managed to coax Labrador Bertie closer to Ryde Pier before making a human chain to grab the pooch out of the water yesterday morning at 7am.

Scott said: ‘You don’t expect to see a dog in the sea early on a Sunday morning, it was lucky we found him and got him out when we did.

‘We gave him a few biscuits, he ran round the ticket office for a bit, then fell asleep.’

Bertie quickly recovered from his ordeal in the ticket office and staff looked after him until his owner could be traced through social media.

Customer Jae Henderson was the first to come across the puppy.

He said: ‘I was waiting for my ferry and heard this strange noise coming from under the pier.

‘I was amazed to see a dog swimming a long way from shore.

‘The guys at Wightlink did a great job to get him out.’

Bertie’s owner Rob Gale said: ‘I was out cockling on Ryde beach first thing this morning when Bertie ran off.

‘He’s only nine months old, he was chasing seagulls and ran into the water.

‘I was whistling for him but under the pier sounds echo around. He couldn’t work out where I was and just kept on swimming.

‘The guys at Wightlink were wonderful to get him out, they had to form a human chain to reach him. I think he might have drowned if they hadn’t got him.’