Man Falls Through Ice Trying to Save Dog

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – A man trying to save his dog that fell through a pond’s icy surface also needed rescued Monday morning.

The accident occurred at 9:35 a.m. on a small pond off Hammond Road behind Belmont College, said Cumberland Trail Fire District Assistant Chief Mark Sommers. The man and his wife, whose names Sommers declined to give because of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws, were walking their canine around the pond when the dog took off after some geese.

”The dog got out, but he had to be helped out. He was in the water for 10 minutes. … He was having signs of hypothermia, but there were no other injuries that were apparent,” Sommers said.

An off-duty paramedic and a Richland Township police officer were the first at the scene and gave the man directions on how to get closer to the shore.

”He probably had to break the ice with his hands and then he swam toward the shore. He had to be helped out of the water because his legs were numb,” Sommers said.

The man, who Sommers estimated to be in his 50s or 60s, was taken to East Ohio Regional Hospital for treatment. Sommers said if the man had been in the frigid water for any longer, the rescue would have been more difficult. He would have been too numb to even use a rope and he would have been disoriented.