One small splash into Portishead Marina, one giant leap for patients!

This is your chance to experience an ‘at sea’ water rescue by four-legged 14-stone furry hero and make a real difference to patients and families, cared for at the RUH at the same time. LIMITED AVAILABILITY.

About Newfoundland Dog Dive events

You will be suited up, taken out into Portishead Quays Marina by boat and then asked to jump in… but don’t worry, it won’t be long before an incredible Newfoundland dog shows off their amazing water-rescue skills and tows you safely back to the boat! As part of this experience which lasts approximately 1 hour, you will be given a timeslot (allocated between 10am and 4pm), complete a safety briefing with one of the human lifeguards and have time to get into a wetsuit (a challenge in itself!), before heading out into the marina to begin your experience. There will also be a chance for photos with your rescuer!

The day is run by the incredible team at Newfound Friends and their well-trained and beautiful Newfoundland dogs, on behalf of The Forever Friends Appeal – we’ll be there on the day to capture the action and support you! This is the third event of its kind for us, with the last two events selling out weeks in advance!

Non swimmers are welcome (as life-jackets are worn) however you must feel comfortable in the water. You must be aged 8 and over to participate (those under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult). All we ask is for a £30 registration fee to secure your place and for you to pledge to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship to take part, for any area of the hospital close to your heart. All participants will receive fundraising advice and support, a wetsuit provided on the day (or you can bring your own) and your own event t-shirt to keep. All the money you raise will help us transform care for patients and their families at the RUH.

Register your interest today

All places are subject to our Terms & Conditions.

Newfound Friends and Newfoundland dogs

Newfound Friends have been organising rescue days for over 29 years and have raised over £1 million for UK charities. As well as hosting these amazing days for charities, they are also committed to raising awareness for water safety.

Newfoundland Dogs are an amazing breed, as much at home in water as on dry land! Newfoundlands have been the St Bernards of the sea for hundreds of years and we are so excited that these life-saving dogs are taking the plunge to help transform patient care at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Each week in the Summer, a group of magnificent 14 stone Newfoundland’s arrive at a lake in the Cotswolds to hone their life saving skills along with their human lifeguard companions. The Newfound Friends are an impressive sight when in the water and their water safety and rescue skills have gained them many famous and influential supporters!

But how do these gentle giants, with thick fur coats manage to swim so well? Their fur actually helps! It’s oily which helps to make the dogs buoyant and they have two layers of coat which provides insulation to keep them warm in the water… but the Newfoundland’s most exceptional swimming aid is the fact that they have skin in between their toes on all four feet, effectively giving them webbed feet which make excellent paddles.

The Royal Life Saving Society had honoured the dogs for their lifesaving skills and their commitment to promoting water safety. The dogs of Newfound Friends are the only dogs ever to attain such an award of commendation from the Society.

You can read all about Newfound Friends here:

Here are some pictures from our 2nd Dog Dive in 2019