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Woman jumps into freezing-cold Trout Lake to rescue dog

Last Updated Feb 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm PDT

(Courtesy Twitter @BenWest)

Dog falls through the ice at Trout Lake, woman goes right in after it

'It was probably the most heroic thing I've ever seen a person do in real life,' says witness to rescue at Trout Lake

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A dog and her rescuer are safe after the pooch fell through the ice and into Trout Lake this morning.

Ben West was at the park with his dog when he noticed someone else’s dog had wandered far out onto the ice.

“I was a little concerned, seeing it out on what was probably relatively thin ice,” he tells us. “It seemed okay for a little bit, and then all of a sudden, it just fell through the ice.”

He says another woman saw the dog fall and went right in after it.

“This wasn’t even her dog that had fallen through the ice. She–without even hesitating–took off her jacket and her gloves and just started breaking the ice and wading out into the water.”

West says he and other pet owners in the area did what they could to help the dog, named Tessa, from the shore.

“We were calling out to this dog, Tessa, trying to get it to keep swimming or maybe try to climb back onto the ice, if it could. She went quite a ways out into the water and just kind of kept breaking through the ice and getting deeper and deeper into this cold water… I guess it was trying to get up on the ice and the ice kept breaking a bit as she was getting closer to this woman who was trying to rescue her.”

Thankfully, the dog stayed above water and was brought back to shore.

“It was pretty traumatic. It was kind of a scary moment to watch this all happening. But it was probably the most heroic thing I’ve ever seen a person do in real life,” says West.

He adds someone at the park lives nearby and brought the woman to their house, let her warm up with a bath and gave her warm clothing to wear.

“The dog seemed to be fine,” he says. “As we were leaving the park, we saw it playing and jumping around with other dogs. It got dried off pretty quick and seemed to be fine.”

Earlier this week, the Vancouver Park Board told us that the bodies of water in the city were nowhere close to ready for pond skating, which we saw happen around this time last year. At the time, it noted the ice could collapse beneath the weight of a large animal, such as a dog.