On Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, a dog owner and her pet where out for a walk in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., but the leisure walk turned into an icy water rescue when the dog fell into the frigid waters.
It was 9 a.m. when the dog was drawn towards geese in the area. The pup chased after them and that was when he stepped onto the thin layer of ice formed on the surface of Lake Michigan. After some time, the dog fell through the ice.
Fortunately, the pet owner stayed calmed and instead of risking her life by stepping onto the lake she called 911.
The 911 dispatcher contacted the Coast Guard Station in Sturgeon Bay and rescuers arrived on the scene within 10 minutes. By 9:20 a.m. the pup had been retrieved and sent to a veterinarian clinic.
“The ice is really new right now, so it is really important to understand the ice conditions,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Disher said in a press release. “In this case, the owner of the dog did the right thing by not trying to rescue her dog by herself and calling us for help instead.”
The pet was examined by a veterinarian and after receiving a clean bill of health he was released to his owner.
When walking your pet this winter along lakes or ponds please consider the following ice safety tips from The U.S. Coast Guard:
- Know the weather and ice conditions, know where you’re going, and know how to call for help. Also help others find you by remaining upright and standing to give rescuers a bigger target to locate you. Only do this if it is safe to do so.
- Have proper clothing to prevent hypothermia; dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
- Avoid wearing cotton and wear layers of clothing that wick away moisture like Polypropylene.
- Have proper equipment: marine radio, life jackets, screw drivers/ice picks, etc. Freezing air and water temperatures significantly decrease survival time for persons immersed in the water or trapped on the ice.
- Always notify family and friends where you are going and when you expect to be back, and stick to the plan.
- Never venture out alone; plan outings with other boaters who will be on their own vessels.
- If boating with pets, keep in mind animals also need the added protection of flotation while enduring colder weather.
- Know when it’s time to call it a day.