A dog was dramatically saved by fire crews after falling through an icy lake in Swindon.
Fire crews from Westlea, supported by specialist Water Rescue teams from Stratton and Chippenham, attended the incident at Mouldon Hill in north Swindon.
Bella, a black 18-month-old Labrador, had ventured onto the frozen lake surface, falling through the ice before managing to swim to a small island in the middle of the lake.
The Water Rescue team used waterproof drysuits and an inflatable walkway to gain access across the frozen surface to the island. After much love and attention and numerous edible treats, Bella was calm enough to be brought back to her distraught Swindon female owner, in her early 20s.
Station manager Gareth Evans, based in Swindon, said: “The rescue took about an hour on what was a bitterly cold day.
“It was fortunate the dog managed to swim to the island after falling into the icy lake.
“Frozen lakes pose a serious threat to the safety of animals and people. We would urge owners not to let their dogs roam freely on frozen surfaces – ice can be unstable and break without notice.
“Owners should not attempt to rescue any animals that have fallen through the ice.
“Bella’s owner heeded this advice and called for help from the emergency services who have the necessary equipment and level of training to undertake such a task safely.
“Owners should consider placing their dog on a lead whilst exercising near frozen lakes.
“This is a simple act that would prevent accidents such as this from happening and would reduce the level of risk in these bitterly cold conditions to both animal and owner and members of the Fire and Rescue Service.”