A DOG was swept away by the River Avill after heavy rain hit Somerset.

HM Coastguard Watchet was called to the incident at River Avill, Dunster Beach, on Saturday (December 14) to reports of a dog being swept away by a river when fifteen flood alerts were in place across the county.

The owner of the dog had entered the water in a bid to save their pet, which has sparked a Coastguard warning as more rain was forecast for the South West.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard Watchet, said luckily the dog and its owner managed to return safely to the shore unharmed.

"Reporting that a dog had been swept away by the river our team were tasked to attend and assess the scene and where able to help search the water for the dog," the spokesperson said.

"Whilst en route to the location an update was received that the owner had entered the water and locate the dog, returning it safely to shore.

"We again would remind everyone not to enter the water, especially fast flowing rivers to attempt any self rescues as often the humans rescuers can end up being a casualty whilst the pet escapes unhurt.

"Emotions can run high when a beloved pet is involved in an incident, however having the strength and courage not to enter the water and instead dial 999 and ask for help will hopefully ensure the pet has it’s family to return to.

"In a coastal environment remember to dial 999 for the Coastguard, and inland ask for the Fire Service. Both services work and train together , and can also call upon our colleagues from Exmoor Search & Rescue Team and other Mountain and Lowland Rescue Teams around the country in support in searching watercourses.

"Please try to keep your pet dogs on leads on unguarded cliff edges and near to fast flowing rivers and swollen water courses."