Police are warning people to stay away from rivers after a Sulby man was injured trying to save his dog from being swept away.
The dog, a golden retriever called Arthur, was saved by a member of the public after a Facebook plea asked for people to help in the search.
The police have however warned against the danger of such pleas and urged the public to stay away from rivers and to leave rescues to the emergency services.
Arthur’s owner is Dave Corlett, a local motorcycle racer from Sulby, who came fourth in this year’s Manx Grand Prix.
He was exercising the 14-month old Golden Retriever at Sulby Claddaghs late afternoon on New Year’s Day when ‘he just took off and bolted straight into the river’
‘He got washed down to the council estate by the Claddagh Mill, where he got himself out of the water,’ explained Mr Corlett.
It was two hours later when Dave’s son Jack and friend Ed Duggan found Arthur lying under a gorse bush, when his retinas reflected in their torch light. He was obviously fairly frightened. When he went in the river I jumped over a fence and snapped my ankle, it was a catalogue of disasters,’ said David, whose ankle is now in a cast after treatment at Ramsey Cottage Hospital and then Noble’s.
‘I saw the look on his face then his head disappear under the water, I lost sight of him then.’
As David was taken to hospital he passed emergency services on their way to look for Arthur, alerted after a woman who had seen the accident phoned his wife.
‘I had my phone with me at the hospital waiting to hear news on him. I wasn’t expecting him to be alive,’ said David.
However a Facebook appeal for people to look out for the golden retriever led to around 40 people turning up to the Claddaghs to personally help with the search.
‘I’d like to thank the lady - I don’t know her name - who ran to phone my wife, and thanks to all the people who came to help,’ said David.
‘Arthur was back to his old self within half an hour, thinking “what’s all the fuss about?”. But he’ll probably be a bit wary of water now!’
Dave’s daughter Rachel set up the Facebook plea asking for people to help search for Arthur after he had been swept away and said that the response had been amazing.
Rachel said: ‘I have to say everyone was fantastic, there is a great community spirit, it was a brilliant example of everyone pulling together to help out someone.
‘The police asked me after I’d put the plea up not to tell people not to search as it was too dangerous to go near the river, but by then of course people were out looking, so the police put up a warning on their Facebook page.
‘Nevertheless, even if it wasn’t the right thing to do, on behalf of my family I’d like to thank everyone so much for helping.’
The Fire and Rescue Service issued a statement thanking everyone who assisted in the search but stressing the dangers of being close to fast flowing rivers. The statement said: ‘With more rain and bad weather to come this winter we would advise all dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes when in close proximity to the water’s edge.’
Recently in the UK two persons have drowned due to the result of trying to retrieve their pets that have accidentally gone into rivers.