Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Man saves dogs from frozen river

Chino and Jasper
Jasper and Chino were unhurt after their ordeal

Two dogs were rescued by a man who jumped into a frozen river when they fell through ice in Hampshire.

Owner Linda Collins had been walking her pets Jasper and Chino along the Hilsea Lines in Portsmouth when Jasper walked onto the frozen surface.

He fell through the ice and Chino followed him in. Mrs Collins rang 999 and was told not to go into the water.

But ex-Royal Navy serviceman Steve Williams was walking a dog nearby and jumped in to save the cocker spaniels.

"The ice was an inch or more thick, so I had to use my elbows to break through to reach the dogs," he said.

Mr Williams quickly managed to reach the dogs and bring them to safety unhurt.

Jasper and Chino were then taken to a local vet on Thursday.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Kevin Oxlade said: "It is important to remember that entering cold or frozen water can be extremely dangerous.

"Mr Williams received full naval training in cold water while serving on (the ice patrol ship) HMS Endurance with the Royal Navy and therefore felt confident in entering the water.

"However, cold water quickly saps your strength and even strong, able swimmers could find themselves in trouble."

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