A dog has lived to tell the ‘tail’ after swimming through the Thames Barrier .

Russell the Jack Russell escaped from his home half a mile away and plunged into the water near the flood defence.

He was spotted furiously doggy paddling through the Barrier towards Tate & Lyle Sugars by a dog walker who raised the alarm.

Guy Underwood and Kevin Reynolds from the Port of London Authority had just started a morning shift on Tuesday, May 10 when they heard the shouts and leapt into action. They sped over in work boat Dory and scooped up the two-year-old pooch, who once back on land could barely stand from exhaustion.

Guy said: “We got to work thinking a person had fallen in and had no idea it was a dog. How he was able to get through the barrier and so far to the other side of the river – I have no idea. I dare say most humans wouldn’t have got that far. He’s a bit of a superdog.”

Russell is reunited with owner John Pedro
Apart from a good soaking he was unharmed by his ordeal
The Jack Russell was unharmed by his ordeal

Russell’s owner John Pedro, who works at a skip hire firm about half a mile from the Thames Barrier, was overjoyed to have his ‘guard dog’, named after TV comic Russell Howard, back in one piece after his adventure.

“We were so worried about him”, he said. “He must’ve been after a fox when he fell in the water – he hates foxes with a passion. It’s incredible that he went through the barrier like some sort of ship. He usually won’t set foot out of the yard, even when the gate’s opened.”

He added: “Russell seems OK now, he got over the experience pretty quickly. I’d like to buy a pint for the guys who rescued him, they did a brilliant job.”