A toddler who was swept down a flooded drain and into a river was saved by her quick-thinking father, it has been revealed.
The three-year-old's parent leapt into the river and rescued his daughter after he realised she had been pulled into a storm drain.
But the family dog, a boxer mastiff cross, is still missing after it was also washed away.
The father and his daughter, who have not been named, went to the park in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at about 7.30pm on Sunday to walk their dog.
While playing in a large puddle, which was about eight inches deep and covered an area of 50-60 yards, the girl and the family pet disappeared.
After realising what had happened the father ran to the River Wear, jumped in and saved his daughter from almost certain death.
Sergeant Keith Wardle said: 'Fortunately when the girl and her dog disappeared her dad quickly realised what was happening, ran to the riverbank and plucked her from the swollen river.
'She had travelled about 50 yards underground through the flooded drain and the action of her and the dog passing through the drain seems to have unblocked it.'
The girl was treated for hypothermia and had swallowed water as well as suffering from bruising.
She was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham where she was kept in last night for observation.
If there'd been a grate on the other end of the pipe or the girl had been a bit bigger she would have been stuck underground,' said crew member Steve Hagar, who attended the rescue scene at Riverside in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. '
The family are from Leeming in North Yorkshire but had been visiting relatives in County Durham.
Crews from High Hadenhold, Durham and the specialised boat rescue crew from Bishop Auckland were called to the scene at 7.30pm.
Specialist equipment showed she had travelled 75 yards underground and would have been completely submerged in water.
'We don't know whether someone saw her in the river or her dad heard her screaming and was able to follow her from on ground but he dived into the river and rescued her,' Hagar added.
'She has been an extremely lucky girl,' said Inspector Paul Etherington of Durham Police.
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