Quick-thinking hero saves dog from drowning in park river minutes after Royal Family visited
A quick-thinking hero saved a dog from drowning minutes after members of Royal Family visited.
Prince Edward and wife Sophie Rhys-Jones left the park on Wednesday and ten minutes later the man jumped into the water and saved the dog who was struggling to stay afloat.
Park ranger Michael Ashmore had donned a new uniform to help with the VIP visit.
But the 47-year-old found himself waist-deep in the River Ribble in an effort to save a dog called Faye.
LincsLive reports Michael, who has worked at Avenham and Miller park for eight years said the animal rescue was part of normal ‘park life.’
But since the rescue mission was shared online, he has been branded a ‘hero’ by hundreds of people – especially the pup’s owner, Gloria.
Michael said: “We were coming back in for a debrief and coming along I noticed there was a bit of commotion by the river.
“Gloria was there, she saw me and I saw her. I asked, what’s going on? and she said the dog had got into the river.”
Faye had been in the water for a ‘couple of seconds’ when he arrived and walked towards the riverbank.
Stephen Geraghty was also involved in the incident and quickly alerted emergency services with the help of a woman from Preston North End.
As he waited at a bench with Gloria, Michael headed down to East Lancs Bridge. but was still unable to see Faye.
He said: “I had to count the trees.
“It was the only way to judge how many metres away from the bridge she was.”
Michael then got into the water after establishing it was safe enough.
He added: “I could see it was shallow enough, it wasn’t high tide, did a bit of risk assessment and entered the water.
“Had a bit of a paddle about looking for her, it was knee height and then it was waist height. Grabbed her by the back and she barked and I thought, great!”
Despite Michael rescuing Faye, his mission wasn’t over as the brick bank wall was more than 6ft high.
He added: “I decided then to scramble along the edge back to the East Lancs Bridge. I met my colleagues there, keeping it safe and close to the edge.”
When he got to the entry spot, the ranger clambered out of the river and handed Faye back to Gloria.
He added: “To see Gloria’s face and to hand back the dog, it was unbelievable.
“She must have been going through so many different emotions.
“I think she knew what could have happened and then it didn’t. It was all different emotions going on.”
Michael thanks those who helped him help and Gloria and Faye for the team effort.
Now Faye is bathed and safe, and they could discuss the rescue with Gloria over a cup of tea.
He added: “I wasn’t expecting it to happen, within ten minutes of them leaving the park, I didn’t think I’d be in the River Ribble,”
The park ranger has now warned others about water safety.
He added: “I wouldn’t expect members of the public to enter the water.
“If they do, please, please, please, please follow the safety guidelines.
“If you have to go in, risk assess it and make a call.
“Go to the emergency services and let them go in with a boat, I really can’t stress that enough, especially along the River Ribble.”