Cookie the cockapoo had a very lucky escape after firefighters rescued her from a water-filled storm drain.
The pup had been chasing a ball when she jumped into a ditch – and the fast-flowing water saw her go head-first into the culvert.
With Storm Barra in full flow and water levels rising, Cookie was unable to turn around and get out, so her distressed owner called for help.
Firefighters from St Mary’s Red Watch arrived at Southampton Common, at just before 3pm on Tuesday (7 December) and quickly set to work.
After blocking off the entry to the culvert to prevent more water from entering, they found the outlet around 30 metres away and used pumps to drain the pipe.
When the water level had gone down they were eventually able to grab three-year-old Cookie and pull her out.
Crew Manager Lee Woods said:
“We blocked one end of the drain and went to the outlet and started to pump the water out.
“We knew we needed to prevent any more water from getting into the pipe because the water level was rising.
“We could hear Cookie barking and were eventually able to grab her and pull her out.
“It was such a relief. It was quite emotional for some of the firefighters and for the owner.
“We wrapped Cookie in a blizzard blanket and just tried to get some warmth into her.”
Cookie is now recovering at home after a trip to the vets.
Her owner, David MacRae, said:
“Cookie loves balls and if there’s water, she loves to jump in. Because of the weather, the ditch was full and the ball must have got sucked down. Cookie either followed the ball in or got pulled in by the water and she couldn’t back out.
“The firefighters did an amazing job – we are so grateful. They were so reassuring throughout. I was really worried but they kept saying ‘don’t worry, let’s see what we can do’.
“She was a bit shocked and subdued but seems okay.”