Fire Bridgade mobilise 20 east London firefighters for Limehouse canal rescue

Fire crew rescue operation on Limehouse Cut [photos: Joe Coggins]

Fire crew rescue operation on Limehouse Cut [photos: Joe Coggins] - Credit: Cananal & River Trust

A large-scale canal rescue operation has been carried out in east London today at the Limehouse Cut… and all for a dog.

Fire crew rescue operation on Limehouse Cut [photos: Joe Coggins]

Fire crew rescue operation on Limehouse Cut [photos: Joe Coggins] - Credit: Cananal & River Trust

Passers-by raised the alarm when a stray black dog was spotted struggling in the canal water near Poplar’s Bartlett Park.

“The animal was stuck on the offside of the canal where there’s no towpath, whining quite loudly,” canal worker Joe Coggins told the East London Advertiser. “It must have fallen in and swam over to the bush to get out of the water, but got stuck.”

Two fire crews were dispatched at 10am from Bethnal Green and Poplar fire-stations—then two more rescue units arrived from East Ham and as far as Edmonton in north London.

The animal was trapped by the high wall on one side, near the old Phoenix smelting works construction site by the road bridge linking Upper North Street to Bow Common Lane on the other side.


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So the London Fire Brigade launched an inflatable motor-dingy and managed to reach the stressed animal and got it back onto dry land. The operation lasted an hour.

A fire brigade spokesman said: “It’s a normal-scale operation when rescue is required, even an animal.”

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The dog—nicknamed ‘Lucky’ by its rescuers—was later handed over to Tower Hamlets Council’s dog warden service to be looked after until the owner could be found.

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