Diving to the rescue

PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:31 10 June 2010

IT'S the lick of love! Amy, the five-month-old Jack Russell terrier, owes her life to Newton Poppleford owner Ray Pickworth, 67, who jumped into a flooded Exeter Quay last week when she fell in after being startled by a passing cyclist. While partner Ken

IT'S the lick of love!Amy, the five-month-old Jack Russell terrier, owes her life to Newton Poppleford owner Ray Pickworth, 67, who jumped into a flooded Exeter Quay last week when she fell in after being startled by a passing cyclist.While partner Ken Davis managed to pull Amy to safety by her dog harness, Ray was left hanging on to mooring chains underwater until Ken, 77, managed to pass him a lifebelt.Ken and Ray were taking their Jack Russells, Amy and Millie, two, for a walk along the River Exe because their riverside walks near their Lark Rise home in Newton Poppleford were too muddy.Ken, who watched the rescue unfold, said: "Ray took off his heavy jacket and dived in after Amy. The dog jumped on Ray's head and scratched his face and there was blood running down his face."The dog had a harness on so I was able to run over and take Amy off Ray. Fortunately a guy came along and took a lifebelt off the wall and I dropped it over Ray's shoulders. He was frozen stiff."Ray was helped to dry land by several people walking in the area and the owner of Bar Venezia at the quay gave him coffee and sat him by a heater to warm him up while Ken went off to buy a bath towel and dry clothes."He was an absolute star," said Ray, who had just finished painting scenery for the village pantomime."He dragged my wet clothes off me and couldn't have done more for me. He was the right man in the right place."Ray said he never thought twice about jumping into the fast-flowing river after his dog."She cost £180, I didn't want that going down the swaney," he joked. "You don't think about yourself, it is one of the family."I jumped in and didn't touch the bottom, it was very deep. Amy went under water and when she surfaced she saw me and used my head as a safety island."He said one woman used her scarf to dry off Amy, who is none the worse for her dunking.

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