Dog News

Firefighters Rescue Man Trying To Rescue Dog From Icy River (They Got The Dog, Too!)

by Amy Drew

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The Wilmington Fire Department performed a double rescue Sunday night, when they not only rescued a man from the frosty Brandywine River, but the family dog the victim had been trying to save himself.

Rescuers managed to retrieve the man from an ice flow, Battalion Chief John Looney told the Delaware News Journal. Wearing ice suits, Looney said they made their way into the river and plucked him from the water before any cold weather injuries set in.

“Ice rescue incidents can be very difficult and time consuming due to the fact we need to move with caution,” Looney said. “The temperatures that personnel encounter are obviously unpleasant and we must be prepared to immediately rehab/rewarm rescuers once the incident is completed.”

It took another 40 minutes to save the dog, Looney said.

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Wilmington firefighters and other emergency personnel rescued a man and his dog from Brandywine River Sunday night. Photo: WFD


Neither man nor dog needed emergency treatment and no firefighters were hurt during the incident.

“It’s difficult to retrieve a stranded dog on ice because they are cold, wet, and frightened and do not want to cooperate with rescuers. We always make sure once the dog is retrieved [that we] make arrangements for treatment,” Looney said.

Pup and pop were happy to be reunited.

“The dog seemed to be in good spirits once he came up from the riverbank,” said WFD Lt. Andrew Cavanaugh. “It’s an extremely difficult rescue.”

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It was around 10 p.m. Sunday when firefighters in Wilmington assembled to help rescue a man who was trying to rescue his dog from a frozen river. Photo: WFD