A COUPLE have described the "scary moment" their puppy became stuck in a river after chasing a bird.

Peter and Judith Young were walking their young springer spaniel Luna on the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve at about 8am on Sunday morning when she bounded off after a seagull.

Her owners could only watch as she sped off before falling several metres into the river Rother.

The Argus:

Peter said: "The river was at low tide so it was some five or six metres below us and we couldn’t reach her.

"It was a scary moment while we waited for assistance."

Peter contacted the coastguard and RNLI Rye Harbour crew members arrived to rescue the poor pup.

Crew member Rob Jennings lowered himself down to retrieve Luna and was helped back up a slippery ladder using a rope.

The Argus:

Although shivering excessively, Luna was unharmed.

Peter said: "We would like to add our sincere thanks and gratitude to those great teams, the coastguard and RNLI Rye Harbour station crew for responding to our call for help and rescuing Luna."

An RNLI spokesman said: "When walking dogs near running water, keep them on a lead if close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers.

The Argus: Judith with her beloved puppy Luna, who was rescued safelyJudith with her beloved puppy Luna, who was rescued safely

"If your dog goes into the water or gets stuck in the mud, don't go after him or her.

"Move to a place the dog can can get to safely and call them - they will probably get out by themselves.

"If you're worried about your dog, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."