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Thread: Cocker spaniel saved from a watery grave by 17 firefighters

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Cocker spaniel saved from a watery grave by 17 firefighters

    Having been unfortunate enough to fall into a frozen pond, most of us would settle for a modest rescue involving a couple of old ropes and perhaps a blanket to warm up under afterwards.
    If a nearby resident were to offer a cup of tea, it would be gratefully accepted but most certainly not expected.
    Imagine then the sheer elation felt by one lucky cocker spaniel who was helped out of the water by an army of 17 burly firefighters this week.

    Climb aboard: Spaniel Matt is rescued with a step ladder by firefighters from a lake in Kilmarnock, Scotland

    Matt the Spaniel's ordeal began when he slipped into a duck pond having run playfully across the ice at Dean Country Park near his home in Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland.

    As the terrified eight-year-old pooch struggled to raise himself out of the freezing water fire crews were mercifully scrambled and they were joined by a water rescue unit from Ayr which raced to the scene after the alarm was raised.
    Using ladders and specialist equipment, they managed to reach Matt and fish the shivering Spaniel out of the pond after what started as a routine walk supervised by his owner's neighbours turned into a living nightmare.
    The firefighters were hailed as heroes by grateful owner Shelia Johnstone, 78, who wrote to thank them.

    She said: 'I still can't believe one little dog caused so much fuss and had 17 firemen looking after him. I'm so grateful to all of them.

    'Matt came from the SSPCA's rescue centre at Cardonald so it's actually not the first time he's been rescued - but hopefully it will be the last.'
    Matt has now been given a clean bill of health.

    Team effort: Firefighters stretched step ladders across the ice to effect their rescue from a gaping hole at its centre

    'The vets have told me he's going to be fine.' added Sheila. 'They put him under the heat lamp and hair dryer as soon as he arrived at the surgery.
    'He had been out for a walk with my neighbours when he ran on to the pond and fell in. They were as delighted as me that everything turned out all right in the end.'


    Stevie Logan, Kilmarnock Fire Brigade's station commander, in turn praised the quick actions of those who dialled 999 warning attempting a rescue themselves could have been fatal.
    He said: 'The dog was in clear distress and had been in the water for some time when we arrived.
    'He was trapped in a circle of water with ice surrounding it and couldn't get out.

    Dog's best friends: Matt with firefighters warming up after his chilly ordeal

    'The people in this case did exactly the right thing by phoning us, and not attempting to rescue it themselves. Too many people have drowned trying to rescue their dogs, and although it is a hard thing to do to stand by and watch the dog struggling, we do have the specialist knowledge and equipment to carry out a rescue.'

    Matt is now recovering at home after local photographer Sandy Ferguson captured the dramatic rescue on camera.
    He said: 'You could tell the poor wee thing was in some kind of trouble. He was yelping away and struggling to get out of the water.

    'It was incredible to watch the team of firefighters working to save the dog and I was delighted to see it come out of the water alive.'

    Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn called it 'a very lucky escape'.
    'There have been accidents like this in the past when dogs have unfortunately not survived.'

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  2. #2
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    In the "D"


    Once again, the FD comes to the rescue!

  3. #3
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Out There


    Bless his heart. I'm glad that cutie was rescued and will be okay.

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