Woman hails 999 hero after she and dog fall into freezing pond
A woman is hoping to be reunited with a Good Samaritan who helped saved the lives of her and her dog after she dived into freezing water when her beloved pet fell in a lake.
Christina Votter was out walking her pooch Bonnie in James Steel Park, Washington, when the dog fell through ice on a pond as she chased a duck.
Desperate Christina then jumped into the sub-zero water to save Bonnie, but with both panicking, the dog started kicking at Christina’s back as the pair fought to escape.
As Christina and Bonnie struggled to get out, a man passing the scene witnessed what was happening before alerting the emergency services.
Christina and Bonnie, a Cross St Bernard Pyrenees mountain rescue dog, managed to get out of the pond with firefighters, paramedics and police rushing to the scene in Fatfield to make sure all involved were OK.
Christina, who is now recovering at home with Bonnie and her three dogs after being “shaken up”, wants to track down the mystery man to offer her thanks, saying: “He saved both of us.”
“I go to that park regularly with Bonnie and she never chases ducks but for some reason this time she did,” said the cleaner.
“When I saw her go into the water I thought “that’s it, she’s gone”.”
After tying up her other dogs and getting into the water herself to save Bonnie, Christina, 51, thinks she was stuck for 10 minutes before the Good Samaritan passed and called 999.
“If it wasn’t for him I would have drowned,” she said.
“It must’ve been 10 minutes that I was there and I just couldn’t get out.
“I couldn’t shout for help any longer
“Bonnie was trying to get on my back and get hold of the trees to get out but it was that cold that the branches were snapping.
“When the man came he wanted to get in the water but I shouted at him not to.”
As emergency services made their way to help a freezing Christina, she managed to free herself and Bonnie and get them out.
On arrival a firefighter called to the scene also gave Christina some of his clothing to prevent hypothermia setting in.
She and Bonnie are both now recovering at home.
“I’ve got to say a huge thank you to the police, firefighters and ambulance paramedics who came,” she said.
“One of the poor firemen even stripped off and gave me his pants and boots to wear in the ambulance.
“I want to help make people aware that the emergency services are God’s gift to humans. I wouldn’t be here today without them.
“I feel I’ve been hit with a hammer all over my body it’s that sore and I’ve got a few bruises, but apart from that I’m OK.
“It is a day I will never want to relive though.”
Christina says she now wants to personally thank the man who came to her rescue.
“The only thing I can remember is he was wearing a sky blue padded jacket,” said Christina, who lives near Leam Lane, close to Springwell Village.
“But whoever he is, he is a hero and I can’t thank him enough.”
*Are you the person who saved Christina and Bonnie? Call our newsdesk on 0191 501 7326.