BRITISH COLUMBIA

Labrador retrievers rescued from unplanned polar bear swim by RCMP

01/07/2013 07:54 EST | Updated 03/09/2013 05:12 EST
KITIMAT, B.C. - Two Labrador retrievers took an unscheduled polar bear dip on New Years Day in Kitimat, B.C., and have some RCMP officers to thank for making it back to the warm blankets of their owners on shore.

Const. Lesley Smith says Duke and Brody were out for a frosty walk along Hirsch Creek River when they fell through the ice.

Brody was able to pull himself out after about 30 minutes, but Duke was still struggling to stay above water and hang on to the ice when the two RCMP constables arrived.

The closest water rescue boat was an hour out of town, so Const. Daniel Kelly doffed his jacket and vest, attached a tow rope to his belt on put on a life preserver.

Const. Andrew Johnstone held on to the rope and with the help of a passerby, guided Kelly as he crawled over the ice to Duke and managed to attach a leash and pull the dog out onto the ice.

Duke immediately raced back to the shore for a rubdown with a blanket from his owner and the two dogs were soon bounding around together.