Thursday, January 28, 2010

Close Call

Here's a real-life lucky-to-be-alive story: Cue the dramatic music and Don LaFontaine voiceover: "In a world where lazy weekends mean a peaceful walk in the park, life can take sometimes take a sudden turn..."

Justin Giron was out walking his dogs when one tried to walk out on the ice at Centennial Lake.

The HoCo Times tells what happens next:

Shortly after 10 a.m., one of Giron’s dogs, a year-old Australian Shepherd named Charlie, ran onto the frozen lake and fell in. Giron tied his other dog, a Shih Tzu named Chewie, to a tree and went after Charlie.

Giron crawled out onto the ice and broke through into the chilling water about 40 feet from the shore, he said. He lifted his dog to safety, but became stuck in the ice himself, submerged up to his armpits, forcing a daring rescue.

“I’ll tell you what scared me: Coming back and realizing I couldn’t get up,” said Giron, a database engineer who served in the U.S. Army for eight years. “I went underneath the ice, and my head couldn’t break through it. It freaked me out. I totally underestimated how difficult it was going to be to get back to the shore.”

In a moment of “absolute luck,” members of the county’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services happened to be conducting an ice rescue exercise 300 feet away at another part of the lake, Howard County Assistant Fire Chief John Jerome said.

The team rescued Giron, who was taken to HoCo General with moderate hypothermia, the Times reports.

Charlie, meanwhile, took off running after he was rescued from the lake, officials said. Fire and rescue personnel and passers-by looked for Charlie, who fire officials described as “scared, cold, distressed,” but could not find him.

Charlie was found later that day by neighbors of Giron, who came to the park to assist in the search.

1 comment:

Doug S said...

The part that's been missing in most of these articles is "What should be done if a pet goes in the water?". The answer: call emergency services (911) - do not attempt to go out on the ice.