A man who plunged through the ice while attempting to rescue his dog from a partially frozen pond on Friday said he would do it again, despite knowing how close he came to being seriously injured, or even killed. James Mabbe, of Markham, was pulled by emergency crews from the nearly freezing waters of a Milne Park pond, just east of McCowan Road and Highway 7, after rushing onto the ice to save his stranded pet. "I know it is a bad call and I know I shouldn't but I would do exactly what I did again," Mabbe told CTV Toronto on Friday. "Thank God the firefighters did help and it was very dangerous for me to do that, but when your dog's life is in danger like that it is kind of hard not to."
Mabbe said he was in the park walking his dog Rocky, an 11-year-old German Shepherd-Labrador Retriever mix, when Rocky chased some ducks out onto the pond. Mabbe said Rocky fell into the water and he called police for help, before rushing out after him. The ice gave way and Mabbe plunged into the frigid waters. Mabbe made another emergency call from his cell phone as he fought to pull himself back onto the ice. He said it was only a matter of minutes before police had arrived to rescue him. While Mabbe was pulled from the ice just moments after falling through, he said Rocky was stuck for about 20 minutes before rescue workers were able to reach him.
Both Mabbe and Rocky escaped the ordeal with little more than cuts and bruises. "When I fell through, I thought I could easily be able to get back on (the ice). I started to get a bit worried for my life when the ice kept breaking around me," Mabbe said. "Really I was concerned for my dog. I kind of had tunnel vision and all I was thinking about was saving my dog." York Regional Police Sgt. Gary Phillips said the incident was a good reminder for people to not attempt to rescue their pets if they fall through water. "Dogs have thick fur and can swim in cold water. After 30 seconds, humans lose muscular functions in cold water and it can put your life at risk," Phillips said.
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