Swimmer and dog are helped by lifeboat

Flowers laid in tribute outside the multi-storey car park on Osborn Road, Fareham

Flowers for boy who died near car park

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THE RNLI’s lifeboat averted disaster after a dog and a swimmer got caught in a treacherous channel.

The drama started when a Staffordshire bull terrier swam into the entrance of Chichester Harbour and became confused.

The dog, called Bella, was about 200 yards from the shoreline and would not respond to its owner as she frantically cried out.

In danger of being hit by a vessel, the owner’s partner swam out to the dog, but he too got into difficulties.

Luckily, Andy Ferguson, senior helm for Hayling RNLI, was on the beach and heard the commotion.

Alan Bartlett, spokesman for Hayling RNLI, said: ‘Andy asked for a lifeboat launch as a swimmer was in grave and imminent danger. He also shouted several times to the swimmer in the water that he should return to shore. Hayling Lifeboat arrived and skilfully ran alongside, plucked the dog from the sea and returned it to the owner on the beach.’

The man managed to safely get back to dry land unhurt following the incident on Sunday afternoon. Mr Ferguson added: ‘We are delighted to have been able to avert a tragic incident.’