Some places get lots of snow during winter months. Michigan is one of them. Icy ponds and frozen lakes are a common sight. It might look pretty, however, one cannot ignore the threats. Almost every week in winter, we often hear stories of a child or an animal falling through ice.

But thankfully, there are some brave souls out there that put themselves at risk to save the victims. Take for example, Matt Duckham. Native of Columbia, Michigan, Duckham was shocked to find out that his dog had run away and gotten stuck in the frozen waters of a pond near his house. The man wasted no time and leapt into action.

Someone passing by noticed the 8-month old German Shepherd in the pond and alerted his owners. Since the ice was thin due to bubblers that cycle the water under the surface, the pooch fell through. He was blocked from escape on all sides.

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When Duckham’s mother attempted to save the pup, she too, accidentally fell in. This was serious and Duckham needed to rescue them both quickly.

The ex-Marine dove in without thinking twice. Duckham recalls, “That water was rough, but your will to live overrode everything else. I was concerned about my mom, my dog and my kids. I wasn’t worried about the cold.”

The man used a tactic he had learnt in the Marines and slashed his forearms against the ice around him and his family. Once he reached an area in the ice that could support his weight, he lifted the dog out to safety and did the same thing for his mother. All three of them were out of the frigid waters by the time the crew had arrived.

The trio made it out in one piece, but Columbia Township Fire Chief Scott Cota took this example to remind the community: “No ice is safe ice.”

So, when winter comes around again, be careful of the possible dangers that come with it!

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