Dog pulled from freezing boating lake after falling through ice

Firefighters are reminding dog walkers about the dangers of icy waters after a dog needed to be rescued from a boating lake in Dulwich.

Ponzo is thought to have been chasing something when she ran into trouble after running onto the icy lake in Dulwich Park this morning.

Freezing and soaked through, Ponzo managed to swim to the safety of an island in the middle of the lake before her worried owner rang the London Fire Brigade for help.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and, after breaking through the ice, they were able to paddle out in one of the brigade’s inflatable boats to rescue stranded Ponzo and bring her to safety.

Ponzo (Picture: LFB)

Station Commander Pat Ackroyd, who was at the scene, said: “The owner absolutely did the right thing by calling us out. The ice was really thick and crews had to work hard to smash through it to create a path for the boat to reach Ponzo.

“Once rescued, she was checked over and wrapped in a blanket before being given back to her grateful owner.

“This incident highlights the dangers of keeping dogs off leads near water, particularly in these freezing temperatures.”

The Brigade was called shortly after 8.20am and the incident was over for firefighters by 9.20am. Three fire engines from Forest Hill and West Norwood fire stations and two fire and rescue units from Lewisham and Croydon fire stations attended the scene.

The brigade has issued the following advice if you fall through ice.

  • Keep calm and shout for help
  • Spread your arms across the surface of the ice in front of you
  • If you cannot climb out, keep as still as possible with your head clear of the water and wait for help to arrive
  • If the ice is strong enough kick your legs to slide on to the ice
  • Lie flat on the ice and pull yourself towards the bank
  • Once out of the water roll away to prevent further cracks i.e. flat and pull yourself towards the bank
  • Seek medical attention immediately

And if someone else, or an animal, falls through ice:

  • Don’t go onto the ice or into the frozen water if you see a person or animal getting into difficulty
  • Stay on the bank, shout for help and phone 999
  • Shout to the person to keep still, hold their head above water. Offer reassurance to keep them calm
  • If the person is too far away to help them from the safety of the bank, do not attempt to rescue them
  • Try to keep your eyes on the person at all times, especially in moving water
  • Try to find something that will float to throw or push out to them
  • Wait for the emergency services to arrive

Pictured top: Ponzo reunited with her owner (Picture: LFB)

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