Pictures: Courtesy of Robert Linton

A  dramatic rescue was staged on the Thames at Putney after a woman plunged into the river to rescue a drowning dog.

Gardener Julia Wylie was working in a riverside garden when she saw the animal, a Labradoodle named Jess, in the water.

She went in after the dog which was struggling in a plastic collar but found herself in difficulties.
A passing Clipper River Bus on the Putney to Blackfriars service came to her aid but the crew were unable to haul her and the dog on board.

A Port of London Authority launch was nearby and came to help in the rescue operation. Both the woman and dog were succesfully hauled to safety.

Afterwards Julia Wylie told the Evening Standard: “I had no hesitation about jumping in. I took off my shoes and jumped down six feet. I tried to hang onto plants on the side of the wall but the tide was really strong and the bushes pulled off when I tried to grab them.

“I had to keep swimming while lifting Jess up. There was no way of standing up - the water was 25ft deep. I thought I was going to have to float down the river with her until we reached the park.”

The pair were taken ashore by an RNLI lifeboat. Jess was taken home while Julia was taken for a check-up before arriving back at her client's house still dripping wet: "They are really grateful I rescued their dog. Jess is fine, but I’ve had to put up some chicken wire along the wall to stop her jumping over again.From now on my client will have the number for the RNLI on hand.”

A Port of London Authority spokesman said: "This successful rescue of both the woman and the dog was a great piece of teamwork on the Thames. [Crew member] Joe Wiltshire from the Thames Clipper Riverbus showed great skill and professionalism in getting a rope to them both swiftly.

“He then worked side by side with Jim Denby and Danny Marsh from the Port of London Authority to get Julia and the dog Jess to safety on board the PLA launch Benfleet. Everyone involved did a grand job and we were pleased to play our part.”

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