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Dog rescuer saved from icy river

Tuesday February 7th 2012

People out and about in the snow in Northumberland rescued a man who jumped into a freezing river to save someone's dog.

The man, aged 51, jumped into the River Wansbeck in Morpeth to save the dog even though he didn't actually know its owner. Paramedics came to the scene after the good Samaritan had been dragged out of the icy water by passers-by.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police recognised that the man was trying to do a good deed but warned against such rescue attempts.

Sergeant Niall Mackel told The Journal: "Although this person was trying to help another member of the public by rescuing their dog, this only serves to highlight the dangers of going into open water, particularly with the recent freezing temperatures which can lead to even strong swimmers getting into difficulty."

The man was taken to hospital for tests, whereas the dog appeared to be fine.

Coachbuilder John Phillips, 38, of Morpeth, was out with his son when he saw events unfold.

He said: "I was with my little boy when I saw someone run past carrying an orange lifebuoy.

"Other people were on the riverbank and there was a commotion, people were shouting "what is it?".

"I looked along the promenade and there was a man with two lifebuoys around his waist being pulled from the water by a rope."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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