Man 'nearly drowns' saving blind dog from flooded canal (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Chingford man thought he was going to die after being pushed up against the weir whilst trying to save his dog
An animal lover said he almost died when he leapt into a flooded canal to save his beloved blind dog from drowning.
Adam Karby-Michael, 25, of Kimberley Road in Chingford, was walking Labrador Maisee in Roydon, Epping, on Sunday when the near-fatal incident happened.
He was beside the canal when he stopped briefly at Hunsdon Weir to take a picture of the over-flowing River Stort.
"I placed the lead on her back for a second and when I turned back she was gone," Mr Karby-Michael said.
Maisee had fallen into the water and was struggling in the middle of the navigation.
Mr Karby-Michael continued: "She can’t see anything so I got a stick and started patting the water for her to move in the direction of the noise.
"When I realised the current was pulling her further away, I had no choice but to go in after her.”
He then took off his boots and jacket and climbed into the canal.
"By the time I swam over to her and grabbed hold of her, I realised the current had a hold of both of us and we were moving fast towards the weir,” he said.
"When I was trapped against the weir, all I was thinking is I’m doing to die. That thought was playing over and over in my mind and I thought it was a done deal.
"The water levels were high, it was gushing over my head and my body felt numb.”
Mr Karby-Michael managed to lift the dog out of the water and threw her against the current.
He then swam as hard as he could until he grabbed hold of a branch by the canal edge and dragged himself out of the water.
Following the ordeal, he thought he was going into shock so he called his girlfriend to bring him warm clothes.
He said: "I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt as though I had no control over my body, it was such a traumatic experience.
“When I saw Maisee in the canal, I didn’t think twice as I would do it for any family member and couldn’t bear the fact of being responsible for her drowning."
The closest life buoy was 600 metres away from the weir.
Both Mr Karby-Michael and Maisee have made a full recovery.
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