'Near-death' dog in dramatic Mersea Island sea rescue
A dog missing for four days has been rescued close to death having swum to two different islands.
Black Labrador Ella fled after being hit by a car on Mersea Island on Thursday.
Ella, who had earlier escaped from Kate and Tyson Burns-Green's West Mersea garden, was spotted swimming to Ray Island and Packing Shed Island before eventually being rescued on Sunday.
The Blackwater Veterinary Surgery said she was 95% dehydrated.
During her rescue by boatmen from Mersea, she plunged into the water again and and attempted to swim towards Tollesbury.
Hundreds watched and applauded as nine-year-old Ella was brought ashore and reunited with her owners.
Mrs Burns-Green told how, after the dog went missing, appeals for information were put out on social media.
She said: "Although she loves swimming, she usually asks before going into the water.
"It all culminated on Sunday evening when a family spotted a black Labrador on Ray Island and they rang my husband.
"Their dog pushed her out of some bushes and Ella ran off into the water and swam to Packing Shed Island.
"She ran to the end of Packing Shed Island and jumped into the water where two boats cornered her, grabbed hold of her and brought her back to shore.
"All this while the sun was going down.
"I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of love and support out there."