OAP rescued from icy peril

Man and dog rescued from the ice and water at Rainford's Flash: The ambulance takes the man away and below - Grahame Sumner, from Hindley Fire Station, left, and Darren Keefe, from Wigan Fire Station who helped with the rescue
Man and dog rescued from the ice and water at Rainford's Flash: The ambulance takes the man away and below - Grahame Sumner, from Hindley Fire Station, left, and Darren Keefe, from Wigan Fire Station who helped with the rescue
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TWO firemen were hailed heroes after rescuing a pensioner and his dog who fell into a freezing pond.

Grahame Sumner, from Wigan, and Darren Keefe, from Hindley, put their own lives at risk when they crawled over the ice at Rainford’s Flash in Spring View to reach 72-year-old Dennis Weir and his pet Bernese Mountain dog, Murphy.

The pair had been out for a walk when Murphy ran across the pond before falling in, around 100 metres from the bank, just before 12.30pm yesterday.

Mr Weir then attempted to rescue his dog himself as he waded across the ice. Passer-by Mike Hinesford was praised by fire crews for immediately dialling 999 before guiding the crews to the scene.

A crew each from Hindley and Wigan arrived to find Mr Weir kneeling beside the dog, trying to lure him out.

But things took a dramatic turn for the worse when the ice below him gave way and he fell into the water himself.

The fire brigade have a strict policy where they never go onto ice or into water for an animal or whilst a person isn’t under water.

But as soon as they saw Mr Weir fall through, they acted instinctively to save him.

Being the two lighter members of the crew there, Grahame and Darren stepped up to the mark.

Grahame said: “We took an inflated hose across the water to hoist the gentleman out. I crawled alongside him and passed him the hose and grabbed his hand as the crew behind me pulled him out of the water and then we got the dog out.”

Grahame dragged Mr Weir across the water before he was assisted by a Water Incident Unit from Eccles, which had since arrived at the scene, and the use of a hansa board.

FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (WEDNESDAY) ...