Lucky Nellie rescued by off duty Heathfield firefighter

9th August

Nellie back on dry land after being rescued by the fire service

Local woman Sophie Strevens and her son were out walking in Darches Wood with their young Border Collie Nellie, who enjoys a swim especially in this hot weather. After a few minutes of playing in the water Nellie, the collie, got caught in a thick bramble vine which wrapped itself around her tail. She couldn’t get back to her owner Sophie and was beginning to panic and tire herself with her effort to get back to her. Sophie encouraged her dog to ‘get back’ so she scrambled on to the island and howled in distress from there.

Sophie had hoped she would stay there until they had worked out a rescue plan but the next minute she launched herself back into the water and went under. It now started to get complicated, another dog walker volunteered to wade out into the pond to be a half way point, and her 10 year old son, Toby Strevens, swam out to the island to help calm the dog down and see if he could get her free. He couldn’t. Then a miracle occured, by absolute chance, Dave Triumph, from the Heathfield Fire Station, was walking his dogs in the woods and heard the panic and commotion. He immediately rang the case in and directed the fire crew to the incident.

Toby and his rescuers from Heathfield Fire Service

Within 15 minutes the fire crew were there, dry suits on and able to wade out to release the trapped Nellie from the bramble bush and carry her back to dry land. Once the dog was secure they then went back for Toby and carried him across too.

“They were so amazing, continuously reassuring Toby and Nellie and letting Toby know what they were doing. We were so grateful and relieved that everyone was safe. It could have turned out differently. A huge thank you to Dave and the crew at Heathfield Fire Station.” commented Sophie Strevens, Nellie’s owner.

Nellie being released from the brambles which had trapped her