Firefighters Karl Hain and Kevin Peat rescue Dave from the water. Pictures: Supplied.

A dog owner has spoken of his relief after firefighters rescued his best friend Dave the Labrador from a river.

Dale Osler grew increasingly worried when he realised 11-year-old Dave had gone missing from his farm at Sedge Fen, near Southery.

After driving around looking for his dog for about three hours, Mr Osler was relieved to hear Dave had been found safe, yet soaked, two miles away.

“I would have been heart-broken if anything had happened to him – he’s my best friend,” said Mr Osler.

“I thought someone must have taken him as he is so friendly and lovable.  When I saw him he was happy as Larry – it was like nothing had ever happened.

“Thank God a young lad spotted him in a river from his house and called the fire brigade.”

An animal rescue team from Thetford Fire Station discovered Dave tangled up in a reed bank in the River Great Ouse at Ten Mile Bank at around 3.30pm on Monday.

They were able to track down the dog’s owner as Dave was wearing a collar with an address and telephone number.

Tim Edwards, group manager (western district), from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said:  “We found him cowering, cold and wet, in the reed bed on the far bank. Kevin and Karl used the raft to rescue Dave and brought him to safety.

“Gavin placed him inside the warm fire engine until his owners arrived.”