A man was taking a walk with his dog when the dog alerted him to a man struggling in a nearby icy pond.
Thomas Walsh was enjoying a walk with his 5-year-old German shepherd, Diesel, like any other day. The Massachusetts-based duo was circling Quarter Mile Pond between the towns of Stoneham and Medford. Suddenly, Diesel picked up on a cry for help.
According to the Stoneham Fire Department, Diesel alerted his owner to the cry for help and Welsh was able to locate a 22-year-old man in a life-threatening situation.
The man from Malden had walked out onto the frozen pond and fallen through the ice. He was trapped in the cold water and desperately calling for help.
Thankfully, Walsh was able to direct the man to stay low and crawl on the ice back towards the shore.
Boston 25 News reported that Walsh said, “I told him to try to relax, catch your breath because he was panicking, you know what I mean. My instinct was to go in and help him, I’m a great swimmer, but you can’t do that in the wintertime.”
Another man walking in the area noticed the commotion and immediately rushed to help. Once the man on the pond had crawled and scooted close enough to the shore, he was able to grab the branch and be pulled through the water to the pond’s edge.
“Another fellow was walking through the woods, and I tied the dog to a tree, and I grabbed a big branch from another tree, and we threw it in, and he was kinda too weak to grab onto it and pull it. So he finally held on with his other hand, and we kinda just dragged him through the water and got him up on shore,” Walsh said to Boston 25 News.
Firefighters arrived with divers and an ice sled, which they thankfully didn’t have to use. Thanks to Diesel, the man received the help he needed to make it back to the shore.
According to the fire department, Welsh said, “It was rewarding. It’s just good to know that you can help someone in need.”
The man they rescued was taken to the hospital to be assessed and treated for injures, which are suspected to be not life-threatening.
The fire chief, Chief Grafton, commended Walsh and the other man for their heroic actions. According to the fire department, he said:
“The two men who helped the patient get to shore did the right thing by calling 911 immediately and using a branch to help pull him in rather than trying to get in the water themselves. These actions helped to save a man’s life this afternoon and are nothing short of heroic.”
Of course, Deisel played a big role in the rescue as well. Without him alerting Walsh of the struggling man, Walsh would’ve never noticed and we can only imagine what would’ve happened.
“[Diesel’s] the hero today, nobody else,” Walsh said to Boston 25 News.
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