A stranded dog was saved from drowning in a canal by some heroic volunteers.

Steve Mander, based in Rickmansworth, was pictured rescuing the dog from the Grand Union Canal, after it was found struggling near a water gate yesterday.

He lay down on his stomach and reached under and was able to retrieve the Labrador before any harm could be done.

With just its head and paws above water in the seven foot canal, Mr Mander and four more volunteers from the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust recovered the stricken animal after it was trapped in the ‘sluice’ gate, which controls water levels in the canal via the lock.

A sluice can be lowered or lifted, allowing water to flow under it or spill over it respectively.

It was pure luck the team had been passing by. They had been trawling through the canal on a regular outing when it came across the trapped dog at Lock 56 in Berkhamsted.

General manager of the trust, Mark Saxon, said it was lucky the team happened to be there, adding: “The dog was saved from certain death. It could have likely been sucked into the sluice and the dog would have died if anybody had worked the lock.”

The dog had been swimming in the canal when it fell into ‘difficulty’, according to Saxon. The owner, who was close by, was said to be “shocked” by what had happened.

He has called on Mr Mander to be awarded a medal.

The Canal & River Trust for London and the South East praised the heroic volunteer adding the dog was very “lucky”.

Mr Saxon confirmed the dog was fine and sustained no injuries.