Surrey firefighters say a 52-year-old woman is extremely lucky after falling through the ice on the Serpentine River Thursday afternoon.
It happened just after 4:30, between Highway 10 and Highway 99, just off of King George Boulevard.
Battalion Chief Reo Jerome said the woman’s husky had apparently chased a bird out on to the ice when it broke through and into the water.
She went to try and get the dog and also fell through the ice.
Jerome said the the fire department’s technical rescue team was gearing up for a water rescue, but fortunately it wasn’t needed.
“Very, very, very fortunate,” Jerome said. “It was about half a kilometre from King George Boulevard, so when the crews were able to access the site and talk to her, she was able to make her way to shore.”
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The woman had no injuries, but was taken to hospital by paramedics as a precaution against hypothermia.
Jerome said firefighters were also preparing to do a water rescue for the dog, but in the end did not have to enter the river.
“The dog was not doing well … he did not have much strength left, and the crews said he had basically relaxed, kept going under, came back up and and then he was able to spread himself out and do kind of a spider crawl and get back up onto the ice and work his way to shore,” said Jerome.
“He’s going to be fine, but it wasn’t pretty to watch.”
Firefighters are reminding the public to stay off the ice, and say there is currently no ice surface in the Lower Mainland frozen thick enough to stand on.