ROCKWOOD (WWJ/AP) – Rescue crews pulled a man and his cousin’s dog from the frigid waters of the Huron River in southeastern Michigan after both fell through thin layers of ice.
Jim Swayze was walking his 11-year-old coonhound, Bart, near the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Rockwood around 3:30 p.m. Thursday when the dog wandered onto the ice and fell through.
Swayze said Bart kept his two front paws on top of the ice to keep from sinking.
“I tried to walk around to him and it was just too deep, and I couldn’t get to him,” he told WDIV. Swayze said he quickly called 911 and his cousin, Lance Eicher.
Eicher, dressed in waders, arrived first and went out to fetch the dog before crashing through the ice himself.
“I just wanted to try to rescue the friend of the family,” Eicher told WDIV. “It broke and I fell in, and I was probably about three and a half feet deep.”
Eicher was finally able to reach Bart, who spent nearly two hours in the frigid river.
When authorities arrived, they used a boat to pull Eicher and the pooch from the water.
“I kind of looked and said, what if this was my dog? What if I was in the same situation? I would hope somebody would try to do the same thing,” Eicher told WDIV.
Animal Control officials at the scene said the dog was cold, but didn’t appear to be seriously injured.
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