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Firefighters Pluck Spaniel From Icy River

Firefighters Pluck Spaniel From Icy River

Firefighter Kevin Mercer brought the dog ashore. (Cambridge Fire Department Photo)

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

March 01, 2011

CAMBRIDGE – A 2-year-old springer spaniel is back with her owner today after falling into the icy Charles River and swimming in circles until she was rescued by Cambridge firefighters using a surfboard.

Firefighters were dispatched to the area near Magazine Beach around 1:30 p.m. Monday, where the dog, Maggie, had left her owner’s side to chase geese, said the department’s chief of operations John Gelinas. The dog ran onto the ice and fell through about 100 yards from shore.

“[The owner] had no way to get the dog out of the water without getting into serious harm’s way herself,” said Gelinas.

A full water and ice response team was dispatched, he said.

Firefighter Kevin Mercer was in the lead position. He went into the water, put his arm around Maggie, and pulled himself and the dog onto a surfboard that was then pulled to shore with assistance from firefighters Brian Peebles and Kyle Schweinschaut.

Cambridge Animal Control was also on shore to aid in the rescue.

“The story had a good ending,” Gelinas said. “The dog was getting tired of swimming in circles.”

Maggie was taken to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston to be evaluated, and was released soon afterward to her owner.