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firefighters with the fox and RSPCA officer

Stranded fox saved from upturned boat on the River Thames

A fox who had fallen onto an upturned boat was saved by the RSPCA and firefighters on Saturday morning on the River Thames.

The fox was spotted in Saint Saviour’s Dock, Southwark by residents, who then alerted the RSPCA.

Inspector Rebecca Phillips and the London Fire Brigade arrived at the scene quickly, alongside water rescue teams.

Phillips said: “The poor little fox had been cornered by the river and the tide was coming in.

“He may have fallen off the edge of the dock, or he may have jumped down in search of food when the tide was out.”

The fox was found on top of the hull of the boat, but as the rescue team were preparing their equipment, the frightened creature fell from the boat into the water.

There was then a real race against time as the tide was coming in fast and there was only approximately five minutes before the rescue team themselves would be underwater.

RESCUED: The fox was trapped and it was a race against time to save him

Phillips added: “As the poor fox slipped into the water and struggled to swim against the current, he was washed underneath, I was so worried we had lost him.”

She then heard scratching underneath her feet and saw the fox on the scaffolding below.

She was able to loop her grasper around the fox and pull him onto the platform and out of the River Thames.

He was shut into the pet carrier and moved away to safety away from the river before being checked over.

Phillips explained: “Thankfully he didn’t seem injured, he was very cold, so I made him a warm bed out of blankets and heated him up in my van.

“He seemed well, so I fed him and released him about an hour later in a safe spot.

“It was lovely to see him bouncing off into the bushes after such a dramatic rescue.”

If you spot an animal in need of help or attention, please call 0300 1234 999 and do not attempt a rescue yourself.

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