Swimmers thanked after saving therapy dog in Bosham

Alfie Page and Dylan Tillyard rescued therapy dog Evie who had got in trouble while swimming in Bosham
Alfie Page and Dylan Tillyard rescued therapy dog Evie who had got in trouble while swimming in Bosham

A woman has expressed her gratitude after two men came to the rescue after her dog got into difficulty in the sea.

Alexandra Hughes, from Bracklesham Bay, had taken her dog for a swim in Bosham last week when the 11-year-old labrador began struggling.

Alexandra said: “We got to a slip-way and I just threw her ball in and she went in, had a swim and came back. She went the wrong way and was trapped by the walls.”

The worried dog owner said Evie, a specially trained therapy dog, swam over to her but as she tried to grab the dog it was taken out to sea. “She was in terrible distress. I was about to take my top off to dive in.

“I said a prayer and there was nobody around and then I saw a young man appear and I called out ‘can you help me?’

Alexandra said Dylan Tillyard, 19 , from Bosham and Alfie Page, from Chichester, were playing football nearby and had decided to go for a swim when the drama unfolded.

She said: “They dived in, swam out and brought her to safe ground and I was just so grateful.

“They were very brave and I am very grateful to them. They were like those men on Love Island.

“I gave them a big hug and said ‘You’re my heroes – God placed you there just at the right time’.”

Over the last ten years, Alexandra and Evie have held therapy classes in care homes all around the county including visits to Fordwater School, The Wrenford Centre and the children’s and older people’s wards at St Richard’s Hospital.

Alexandra, who is a retired Salvation Army officer, said: “Some people love a dog but are too frail to have one and it helps them stroking Evie and talking about the animals they had and sharing memories. Others find it hard to leave their home and go into care and Evie helps them settle. She brings smiles to people’s faces when they feel low.”

Evie the dog even has Facebook page about her daily adventures and work as a therapy dog. Also last week, the mayor of Chichester, Martin Bell, met Evie who had been awarded the runner up prize for in the national Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog of the year competition.

After telling him about the sea rescue, Alexandra said the mayor praised the two men for saving a ‘special dog who blesses many’ .

On Monday this week a boy and his father were rescued from the water and people were urged to wear life jackets.

READ MORE: Boy and his father rescued from water in Pagham