A man has died after he jumped into a freezing river to save his dog.
The unnamed 49 year old leapt into the River Lune, Halton, in an effort to save his Springer spaniel. It is not known whether or not the man was a strong swimmer, but when he was spotted getting into trouble, the rescue services were called.
The incident occurred just after 1400GMT, and the alarm was raised when a passing walker saw the victim, who was originally from the Halton area, in the water.
The coastguard, a hovercraft, a Royal Air Force rescue helicopter, a lifeboat and even the fires service rushed to the scene, and the man was transported to Lancaster Hospital in an attempt to save his life, but unfortunately everyone’s efforts were in vain.
The dog lived through its ordeal, and is now being cared for by relatives of his owner.
With the UK being the grip of record low temperatures, with more bad weather forecast over the coming weeks, it may be tempting to allow your dog to stray onto a frozen river or pond. However, the consequences could be disastrous.
Speaking about the tragic incident, Paul Parkes, who is a watch manager for The Coastguard, strongly advised dog owners not to attempt a rescue themselves should their pet fall into a body of water. The coastguard has special equipment to carry out such rescues, and the emergency services should be called instead.
“This is a tragic incident where a dog owner has entered the water to try and rescue his pet and sadly, has not survived.”
“We understand that, for many people, a dog can be like a member of the family, but we would advise that people dial 999 and call the coastguard if your pet gets into difficulty on the coast as we can send teams with specialist training and equipment to perform a rescue.”
It is also advisable for owners to take out comprehensive dog insurance to cover any vet’s fees should their dog have a similar accident.