A DOG-LOVER is delighted as his faithful friend is recovering after plunging through ice into a frozen lake.
Macy the whippet had to be plucked to safety by firefighters from the water at Herrington Country Park.
Husband and wife Derrick and Patricia Thorman were walking the four-year-old dog when she ran on to the smaller of the park’s two ponds.
The couple, from Washington, were taking Macy and pal Blue for a stroll when disaster struck.
“The dogs were just frolicking about ahead of us,” said Derrick, 66. “When all of a sudden one of them took a charge across the lake at the swans.
“It all happened so quickly. She got about three quarters of the way across and just went through.
“We did not know what to do, so I telephoned the emergency services.
“The fire engine came out and was there within about 15 minutes.”
However, the water was too deep for firefighters to wade out to Macy, so a crew wearing specialist suits was dispatched to the park.
They were able to crawl through the ice and water and use a rope and harness to save the terrified dog.
Fortunately, she escaped injury, but was left shivering after spending nearly 30 minutes in the freezing water.
The lucky dog is owned by the couple’s daughter Victoria, 32, who lives in Consett, County Durham.
Derrick helps look after grandson Matthew, two, and the dogs, while she is at work.
He praised firefighters from Sunderland Central Station’s white watch, who carried out the rescue on Sunday.
“They calmed my wife and I down as we were in a state of panic. They took control of the situation and rescued Macy,” he said.
“I have nothing but praise for the lads, they were very helpful and compassionate.
“I think they deserve a mention as they are very brave and dedicated lads.”
Acting watch manager Stephen Wilson said: “When we arrived at the scene an elderly couple told us their daughter’s dog they were looking after had ran onto the ice and was stuck.
“The dog was clinging to the ice with its front paws and was distressed.
“We tested the water, but it was too deep to go into so we called the swift water rescue team from Newcastle East. They were able to rescue the dog using their dry suits.”
“The rescue mission took 15 minutes, and the dog was in the water for about 45 minutes all together, so it was distressed and very cold.”
Crew manager Damian Boyd added: “In this weather, people may be tempted to walk or play on frozen ponds and lakes, but this is extremely dangerous.
“The ice can give way very easily, leaving people trapped underneath in freezing temperatures.
“Thankfully, Macy’s owner did the right thing by not venturing onto the ice and rang 999.”