LIFEBOAT crews in Littlehampton are warning pet-owners to not risk their lives if their animals jump into fast-flowing rivers by trying to save them.
The message comes after a woman plunged into the cold waters of the River Arun in an attempt to rescue two dogs, on Saturday morning (February 22).
The person who jumped in was not the owner of the pets but was a bystander trying to help.
And although the action might be deemed noble, Littlehampton’s lifeboat operations manager Nick White said it could have proved fatal.
“Jumping into rivers can always be dangerous,” Mr White said. “From our point of view, if your dogs go in the water, it is more than likely that they will come out again without any help.
“The problem comes when people jump into the water.”
Mr White explained that at this time of year the water can be very cold.
“It can sap your strength, so for people who are not prepared for this, it can be very dangerous,” he added.
A lifeboat team was called out from their base at Fisherman’s Quay to rescue the woman in Littlehampton.
However, by the time they arrived, she was safely ashore.
Mr White said she had remained close to the east bank, away from the main tide in the river, which can drag people out to sea.