Safety warning after dog owner plunges into icy lake to rescue pet

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is warning people of the dangers of entering open waters after a dog owner risked his life to save his pet yesterday afternoon (Jan 4).

A Technical Rescue Officer was called to Peel Park, in Bradford, at around 2pm to reports that a man was threatening to go in the water after his terrier dog had fallen through ice on the lake.  

On arrival the middle aged man had carried out his intentions and fortunately managed to return himself and his canine back to dry land safely.  

Technical Rescue Officer Chris Lawton said: “In this instance the dog owner walked away unharmed other than being drenched by freezing water. His dog also fortunately survived.

“We know that owners often hold incredible emotional attachment to their pets, however, you should never follow them into open water, especially at this time of year.

“The extreme cold can bring on sudden cardiac arrest and even if you think you are a strong swimmer, jumping into icy water can cause muscle spasm due to shock. 

“Hypothermia will also set in rapidly through exposure to the cold and before you know it you are in big trouble.”

Frozen waterways

People should take extra care around ponds, lakes and waterways. Although a brisk walk along a stretch of Britain’s network of canals and rivers can seem attractive, towpaths, bridges and locksides can be particularly slippery at this time of year.

  • Walkers should NEVER be tempted to stray onto frozen water to rescue a stranded pet. Children should never play by the waterside.
  • Ensure dogs are kept on leads around water at all times.
  • Remember, you never know how deep the water is or what unseen hazards are submerged.