Merlin the dog saved by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

MERLIN the dog had a lucky escape after he fell through the ice while chasing swans on a frozen lake.

The loveable two-year-old Newfoundland dog, which ironically is part of a breed which can excel at water rescue, didn’t realise he was running onto ice at The Lakes, off Meadow Lane, in St Ives and fell through about 20ft from the bank.

His owner was ready to go in and rescue his pet but had second thoughts and called Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire fighters in dry suits used an inflatable boat to lead Merlin to safety and later wrapped him in a foil blanket to keep him warm.

He was later taken to the vets for a check up after the rescue at 12.20pm on Sunday (December 5).

Merlin’s owner, who did not want to be named said: “I was going to go into the water to rescue Merlin but I stopped myself and dialled 999 instead. I’m so glad I stopped myself.”

Eddie Theaker, watch manager at Huntingdon Fire Station said: “As a former dog owner myself, I know it sounds cruel to warn people against going into icy water to rescue their pet.

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“But if that had happened, this man would have very quickly got into difficulties and both he and his dog would have almost certainly died in the lake.”

A fire service spokesman added: “The owner of the dog did exactly the right thing by calling the fire service.

“There is no way of knowing how thick the ice is and it is very hard to get back out if you fall through. It is safer for you and your dog to let trained fire fighters do the rescuing.”

The fire service has also advised dog owners to keep the animals on leads at all times near frozen water.