1 May 2002

George Wrigley owes his life to his Cocker Spaniel Honey after she saves him from drowning

George Wrigley spent more than an hour trapped in the River Dart and attributes his survival to his five-year-old Cocker Spaniel Honey.

George, who lives on his yacht the Margaret Glen, was making the trip to visit his girlfriend at the Marina in Dartmouth. He set out with Honey in a rubber dinghy to make the mile trip up river.

As the dinghy neared the shore Honey jumped in after some ducks and as her owner tried to fish her out, he fell into the river.

George told the Daily Mail: “I tried to get back into the dinghy, but couldn’t make it. Then I lost my grip and we started to get swept downstream.”

Although he admits it was Honey’s escapades that landed him in trouble, he says that without her he would almost certainly have drowned. Experts say that survival time in these conditions is normally around 20 minutes.

Using Honey to help keep him buoyant, George was finally hauled to safety more than an hour and a half later by a boat owner who heard his cries and Honey’s barking.

As he battled against the wind, rain and strong currents, George who was not wearing a life jacket, kept hold of Honey and between them they managed to stay afloat.

After the rescue, George said: “I owe her my life, I thought Iwas keeping her afloat but in reality she was helping me.”

Mr Wrigley was taken to hospital where he was treated for bruised ribs and hypothermia.

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