DJ MIKE Read took a 'rugby dive’ into the Thames to rescue a drowning puppy yesterday (Thursday).
The BBC Berkshire radio presenter was alerted to the puppy’s plight when he heard his owner Sarah Prior shouting out near to Marsh Lock.
Mr Read explained: “His owner was shouting and I saw a little nose poking out of the water and I thought he was in trouble. The river was still very fast flowing and within 20 seconds he would have been 20 yards downstream. I think his owner was more shocked than the dog.”
Mrs Prior, 43, said Digby had never before shown an interest in the water or getting in it.
She added: “We do that walk all the time. He has done it since he was a baby. He saw those four ducks and he just leant forward and had a little sniff. He made them swim away and he went after them.
“He went straight under there was no floating or anything. He sank like a stone. I was in a panic and ran straight towards him. Mike knelt down and grabbed him by the collar and yanked him out. Digby had bobbed down at least twice by this point. The river was very cold and the current was so strong.
Mike turned round and I recognised him straight away and I said 'hello Mike Read, thank you for rescuing my dog. He said 'that’s alright, you need to teach him to swim’.”
Mrs Prior, who lives on St Marks Road in Henley, said Mr Read ended up covered in mud and silt from the river and, as he was on the phone at the time, almost lost his phone in the drama.
Mr Read played down his part in rescueing the paddling pooch. He said: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was very lucky that anyone was there really. Anyone would have gone and tried to get him out. I did get some strange looks walking round town afterwards. I had to pop into Hobbs and hose some mud off.
Digby quickly recovered from his impromptu dip and has suffered no ill effects since. Mrs Prior, a freelance food writer, said: “I think it’s hilarious, my dog is more famous than me now.”