Don't take the plunge: Pet owners warned after risky rescue caught on camera
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017 10:16AM EDT
Fire officials in St. Albert, Alta. are urging residents to stay off the ice after a series of close calls this month, one of which involved a young man jumping into a freezing pond to rescue his dog.
In a popular video recorded by CTV Edmonton on Saturday, Duncan MacIver can be seen swimming through the cold water of an icy pond near an off-leash dog park to save his dog Cosmo that had fallen through the thin ice. After a few tense moments, MacIver was able to make it safely back to shore with his dog.
“It’s a split second thing,” MacIver said. “You’re not just going to let him die, right?”
And he’s not the only one who would take that kind of a risk for their pet. Simon Chance told CTV Edmonton on Monday that he would have gone into that same frigid pond if his dog Asia was in trouble. He said his dog fell through the pond’s ice on the weekend while it was chasing a goose.
“I didn’t have to go in for her because she came back the way she went out,” Chance said. “On the way back she fell through, not all the way through, just up to her shoulders.”
Not all pets are as lucky as Asia and Cosmo, however. The St. Albert Fire Department’s acting lieutenant Gregg Bauwens said a dog was sucked under by the current after it fell through the ice at Terwillegar Park last week. Unfortunately, the current was just too strong in that larger body of water and they were unable to rescue it, he said.
“The water’s running under the ice and the water current would drag you under the ice,” Bauwens said. “Once that happens, you have no real chance of a good result.”
Although he applauded MacIver’s bravery for going in after Cosmo, Bauwens said the outcome could have been much worse.
“The problem with that gentleman is, if it would have went bad, we wouldn’t have went for his dog first, we would have went for him,” he explained.
Bauwens said, any time a pet or a loved one falls through the ice, it’s always better to call for help instead.
“Most of the fatalities involved with ice water rescues involve people actually going in after their pets or children,” he said.
Fire officials in St. Albert told CTV Edmonton on Saturday they had received three calls for ice rescues in as many days.
“This year it’s just been that bit of an anomaly. I don’t know why,” fire prevention and safety officer Les David Mroz said.
Despite the safety warnings from emergency officials, Chance said he thinks pet owners such as MacIver would still go onto the ice in the future if it meant rescuing their pet’s life.
“If it happened to him [MacIver] again, what do you think would happen?” Chance asked. “What do you think he’d do? He’d go in!”
With files from CTV Edmonton