Firefighters save dog after it runs into marsh on morning walk in Plymouth
A WOMAN whose dog got into trouble on a morning walk has said a big thank you to the fire service for "saving" her beloved pet's life.
Emma Mason, from St Judes, was walking her three-year-old dog Tilly at Saltram, in Plympton, on Monday morning when she got into trouble after chasing a duck into a boggy marsh area.
Miss Mason said: "It was quite a nice day and we were headed towards the beach area of Saltram from the main car park.
"She suddenly ran off into a field on the left because she was chasing a duck and then got stuck within a marsh area.
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"As soon as she stopped there I realised she was in trouble. I saw water splashing around in the distance and she wasn't moving. I knew she was stuck and started to panic. I was very worried about her."
Miss Mason said she attempted to go into the marsh to free Tilly but was worried she herself might end up in trouble.
She said: "I didn't know how to get in to free her. The water was right up to her chin and I could only just see her head popping out. She was paddling and trying to get to me but just couldn't. I can't get the image out of my head."
Two women, who were out walking their dogs, stopped to help Miss Mason and tried to calm her down.
Miss Mason said the three of them decided it was best to call the fire service for help.
She said: "I was in a bit of a state when the firemen got there, Tilly had been in the water for about 20 minutes at that point and I was concerned about how long she could keep paddling.
"The firemen really reassured me that calling them for help was the right thing to do - they were brilliant."
The fire crews from Blue Watch Plympton and Camels Head assessed the situation and after establishing there was no way around to rescue Tilly two firemen got suited up with safety harnesses and waded in.
Miss Mason said: "The first bit seemed very deep and they were submerged right up to their shoulders. They got to Tilly and freed her and then carried her most of the way back to safety.
"She did decide to swim the last couple of metres though and jumped out wagging her tail.
"I'd like to say thanks to everyone for all their support and kindness that they showed me and their skill and ability to rescue her.
"Without them it would have been a very different outcome and I'm sure I would have lost her."
A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "We can't stress enough that in situations like this Emma Mason really did the right thing, it is often very tempting for animal owners to try and save them, quite often get into trouble themselves, and then the fire service has two rescues to effect.
"Also at incidents like this the crews can feel the pressure of being seen to do something immediately and it can seem that crews take a while to start the rescue but safety of our crews is paramount in such situations.
"But we all love a happy ending and in this case that's exactly what we got!"