Man Crawls Across Frozen River in Underwear to Rescue Dog

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In what eyewitnesses called a foolish act of bravery, a British man stripped down to his underwear and made his way across a frozen Essex river to save a drowning dog.

The incident occurred Sunday morning at approximately 10am. Dog Walker Paul Wenborne captured an image of the man as he crawled across thin ice on the River Stour, in Dedham, Essex, calling out to the dog and drawing more than a bit of attention for doing so in nothing but his underwear.

Fish porter Mr Wenborne, 52, of Rayleigh, Essex, watched in amazement as the man saved the dog’s life.

“I was with two friends and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. He stripped down to his pants and started crawling across the ice. About a yard or so from the dog, he fell in but managed to get hold of the dog and put it on the ice. He then had to swim two or three yards and then crawl back on the ice to dry land.”
Essex Fire Service warned the public that the man’s actions were extremely dangerous, and reminded dog lovers to call for help before attempting to save dogs stranded by ice. An Essex Fire Service spokesman offered a stern warning, saying, “This was extremely dangerous.”

The identity of the dog’s savior remains a mystery. Despite his heroic act, the man was apparently unconcerned with being credited for saving the dog. He simply disappeared. “He put his clothes back on and carried on. It was a foolish act of bravery,” said Wenborne.

Essex Fire Service confirmed that it was never called to the incident.

14 thoughts on “Man Crawls Across Frozen River in Underwear to Rescue Dog”

  1. Why didn’t the people watching call for help ? The guy could of fell in and if help was right there he would of been saved right away ? And why did he take all his clothes off ?

    • It does seem like someone observing should have called for help in case something went wrong and I think he took his clothes off so he wouldn’t be weighed down by them if he did fall in, which he did. Also pretty smart on his part cause he had dry clothes to put back on. I think we need more people like this guy. He is a hero and must have a big heart. Great job underwear Man!!!

    • If/when he fell in, his clothes wouldn’t be soaked if he took them off. You’re actually going to be colder wearing wet, heavy, soaked clothes, and thus way, he cold put his relatively dry clothes back on.

      Still, dangerous move on his part, but I’m glad he saved the dog, and everyone was alright.

    • Julie: He took his clothes off so that they didn’t get wet which would have made them very heavy in water. Another reason would be so that he still had dry clothes for when he got out, to get home. Why no-one called the emergency services? I cannot understand that one at all? Did it all happen so quickly that they were watching him a little too intently and it was over before they had time to react? Very puzzling? John Christie.

    • he probably took his clothes off in case he did fall in, which he did, he wouldn’t be weighed down by the extra weight of his wet clothes and possibly drown…his was a completely selfless act of courage and must’ve been really cold crawling across the ice and falling into the water in nothing but his underwear in that cold weather…

  2. No two ways about it he’s a hero, I’d have done exactly the same thing, how could you watch a dog drown if you thought you could save it? well done sir! you will surely be rewarded in this life and the next!

  3. I second what Julie said! Where was the owner of the dog??

    I guess I would be considered a fool also because I would have done the same thing, but maybe in my clothes!

    Bless this man for his “foolish act” of bravery.

  4. Well done to this man! there should be more people in the world like him, I would have done the same. Shame on those who stood by and done nothing.

    As for calling it a foolish act, if it were a child would the decision have been different?


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