A WOMAN clinging to a buoy in the middle of a river was rescued after getting into difficulty trying to save her dog.

Emergency services were called to a marina in Christchurch after a passer-by heard screams for help just before 11am today.

The woman, who was walking three dogs with a child, had jumped into the River Stour when one of the dogs was unable to get out.

A police spokesman said a ball had been thrown into the river at The Meridians, near Tuckton bridge, for the dog and it could not get out again.

The woman attempted to save it but was left holding on to a buoy in freezing conditions. The dog made its own way out of the water.

Services in attendance included police, fire and ambulance crews, coastguards from Southbourne and Poole and the Mudeford RNLI lifeboat.

The woman was treated by paramedics but is not believed to be in a serious condition.