Some Good Samaritans sprang into action on Friday after a man fell into the frigid waters of the Thompson River in Kamloops.
It happened around 1:15 p.m. while a man was walking his two dogs in an off-leash area of Pioneer Park.
According to Kamloops firefighters, one of the dogs fell into an un-frozen patch of the river. Its owner went in after it, said Assistant Fire Chief Robb Schoular.
Some passersby who were in the park saw what was happening and hauled a snowmobile sled ramp down to the water’s edge, he said.
The victim was able to push his dog out of the water before help arrived. He then climbed out of the river using the sled ramp shortly before firefighters arrived, said Schoular.
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“We treated him for hypothermia on the beach, warming him with blankets, we put him into a rescue device, a rapid deployment craft,” Schoular said.
Schoular estimated that the water was about 4 C.
He added that the crew who was called down to the scene had actually been training on ice rescues in the very same spot on Thursday.
The rescue has also prompted a warning from the fire rescue service about safety around the water.
“Please stay off the ice, especially this time of year. The ice is covered with snow so you can’t see the weak spots,” said Schoular.
“Please keep your pets on a leash at all times when walking by the river, any kind of open water or thin ice because that’s what happens is the dogs run in, fall through the ice, and all of a sudden the owners are going in and it ends up being a double rescue.”