March 30, 2014 8:38 pm

Dog lover credits Good Samaritan with saving her life in icy rescue

Jennifer Simmonds credits Good Samaritan and police with saving her and dogs from icy water.

Sarah Offin

CALGARY – A Chestermere woman is lucky to be alive after falling through the ice trying to rescue her pets.

It happened at Elliston Park in southeast Calgary, Sunday afternoon.

Jennifer Simmonds says one of her dogs chased a duck onto the ice and fell into the water.

One of her other dogs then jumped in after Patrick. Simmonds went onto the ice after them both – and also fell in.

“’I knew I had to go in and I knew I was going to fall in too,” says Simmonds.

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Stuart Harris was driving into the city from his home in Langdon at the time. He saw the commotion, jumped the median and sprang to action.

Equipped with a tow rope and an education in outdoor survival, he slid onto the ice on his stomach, keeping his weight distributed as evenly as possible, and tied Simmonds to himself.

“I just hope that if I fell through the ice anyone else would help me too,” says Harris.

A police officer was alerted to the scene after he saw Harris’ quick u-turn on 17th Avenue.

Police say Harris broke through into the water as he was able to latch on to the female.

“Our officer then started pulling back and then he broke through the water and was also immersed in the water. A second officer arrived just then and eventually pulled all three back,” says Staff Sergeant, John McCarthy.

Simmonds credits Harris, as well as the assisting officers, for saving her life.

“I’m so grateful there are still a few good people out there who will take time out of their day and try to help someone else out. I like to think I’m that good of a person, I don’t know, but I’m just thankful somebody was for me.”

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