CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) – A quick thinking man saved the life of a dog at the Swift Creek Reservoir.
The dog walked out on a frozen part of the lake and fell through, but a local business owner was nearby to help.
The ice isn't more than a half inch thick and it's not that hard to break through. Wednesday morning when the sun was out, it was too thin to support a 40-pound dog.
Dan Butler, who runs a nearby photography studio, saw the dog out there.
He found a boat that wasn't chained up and a long pole and he made his way out to the dog.
Butler says he could see the dog slowing down and starting to struggle less and less, but he eventually made it out to the dog and got it in the boat.
Chesterfield Police took the dog and warmed it up in the back of their car.
Butler said he worries some day it may not be a dog out there - it may be a child.
"I've been here almost 20 years and I have seen children and I let them know to get off the ice," he says. "The main thing…with this cold weather -- stay off the ice."
The water is at or below freezing and according to Chesterfield Fire and EMS Lieutenant Jason Elmore, if you ever fall through the ice, do whatever it takes to keep your head above the water.
If you can't crawl out, find something to grab. If there's nothing to grab, call out for help.
While he says it's better just to avoid a frozen body of water altogether, Elmore says if you're going walking by one, you should have some company.
"Get them to get a stick or some type of pole of something to try to pull you out of the water, he says. "If they get close to you they're going to put themselves in danger too with that broken ice that you've fallen through so you want to make sure that you try to keep them out of danger too."
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