FIREFIGHTERS today had a new crew member at their station a black spaniel they rescued from a culvert!

The wet pooch had been stuck in the River Darwen until passers-by heard its whimpers and alerted Blackburn firefighters.

The White Watch crew arrived at Peel Street, Blackburn, to release the dog at 5pm yesterday and climbed down into the concrete channel where the dog was trapped.

They winched the dog to safety, but due to the Bank Holiday the firemen were unable to find an RSPCA warden who could come and collect it.

A fire spokesman said: "We have no idea who he belongs to and there was no owner waiting for us at the scene.

"So until the RSPCA can get out to us and our new dog we will keep him at the fire station with us.

"He is none the worse for wear after his ordeal and spent the night at one of our crew member's homes.

"To be honest now he has dried off and has had a good feed he seems to have made a good recovery.

"If anyone knows who he belongs to or even if he is their dog then they should contact the local RSPCA as he will be with them hopefully by this evening.

"You just never know what you are going to be called out to next in this job."