Quiet dog alerts owners to two men drowning in the middle of the night

Jacqui and Colin Fearon were asleep on their boat which was moored in Farndon Marina, Nottinghamshire. It was the early hours of last Saturday. Their dog started to bark. Blinky woke up Mrs Fearon. She was surprised because Blinky is not known for his barking. He’s a quiet dog and “doesn’t bark much at all” she said.

Blinky. Photo: Jacqui and Colin Fearon.

Blinky had spotted two men struggling in the water on the Norfolk Broads. Blinky made it clear to his owners that something bad was happening because Mrs Fearon said that you could hear it in his frantic-sounding voice.

She noticed a man crying for help who asked her to check on his friend first because he appeared to be unresponsive. She found a patrolling security guard who called the police. The Fearons then managed to rescue one of the men from the icy water with the help of the security guard while three police officers rescued the other man.

Mr Fearon said that he was very proud of his wife and his dog:

“To watch my wife and the security guard pull one guy out of the water while I was holding onto the other guy was amazing. I was so proud of them – I’m proud of my dog also because without him we would never have known that they were in the water.”

It is believed that one of the men slipped on an icy pontoon and fell into the water while the other man tried to rescue him and also fell in.

The Fearons were spending a break on the Norfolk Broads having travelled from Peterborough last Friday. Blinky’s intervention was critical because the marina at this time of year is very quiet. Only a few people were around.

One of the rescued men was taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia but both will make a full recovery. One of them came around to the Fearon’s boat to thank them. He said that he believed that he had only a minute to live before he was rescued.

Sergeant Matthew Burgess from Nottinghamshire police said that without the speedy intervention he believes that they could have been fatalities.

The Fearons spend most of their weekends on the Broads cruiser even in winter. They said that Blinky is docile and lovely. They rewarded him with a very large bone from a local farm shop. Mrs Fearon said that “He was in paradise with it”.

Blinky is a smooth collie who used to live with Mr Fearon’s aunt. She had to give him up because of her age, having moved into a nursing home. Sadly, she had overfed him to the point where he had ballooned to 32 kg when he should have been 18 kg. The Fearons have reduced his weight to 25 kg.

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