As reported by the Boston Herald as well as other news outlets, on January 9th, firefighter Sean Coyle braved the frigid waters near Pleasure Bay near Ice Castle in Boston, Mass, to rescue Sylvie, a 13-year-old Husky who had fallen through the ice while walking with her guardian. This was the second time Mr. Coyle had saved a dog in distress, with the first time being a dog stuck under rocks in Pleasure's Bay.
Sometime around 9:00 a.m., Sylvie had been out for a walk with her guardian, when she slipped out of her leash. She tried to walk across the frozen lake and fell through the thin ice in one area and into the 20-degree waters. She was unable to get herself back to dry land and struggled to stay afloat in the icy waters. Her guardian called 911, and Sean Coyle, a seven-year veteran of Ladder 19 responded.
Mr. Coyle pushed himself in a stokes basket out to where Sylvie was struggling in the icy waters. She was so grateful for the rescue, and easily responded to his outstretched hand. However, the basket was small and unsteady, and Mr. Coyle ended up falling into the waters as well. Thankfully, he had donned a survival suit before going out to save Sylvie, which helped protect him from the cold. He had tied a rope to the basket, and they were both pulled to land by a worker from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Mr. Coyle reported that by the time he got to Sylvie, her strong barks had turned into mere whimpers, as she was quickly losing strength from the efforts of treading water in that icy cold. She would not have made it much longer, had help not arrived when it did.
Once back on solid ground, Mr. Coyle allowed Sylvie to walk on her own, back the man who had been walking her for his niece. Once she was warmed up, they both left the scene. It appears that Sylvie will be okay and fully recover after her ordeal.
Sylvie had struggled for about a half hour before her rescue, which would have been deadly for a human for that long of a period of time. Her long fur helped to insulate her from the cold, and it is a blessing that she survived. It was thanks to the heroic efforts of this amazing firefighter that she is alive today.
Mr. Coyle was quoted as saying in part:
We look at pets like citizens. We want to make sure, whether it's a burning building or a freezing lake, we just want to get them out safe. A life is a life, whether it's that of a four-legged or two-legged Bostonian."
More humans need to embrace that mindset about animals. They are living beings who feel the cold just as much as any human does. During these icy months, most especially with this deadly winter storm that has enveloped a great deal of our country, every effort should be made by guardians to keep their furry family members warm and safe from the cold.
A heartfelt thank you goes out from all advocates to Sean Coyle and his wonderful and generous heart for animals. Sylvie was very blessed that it was Mr. Coyle who answered the 911 call, as he clearly saved her life.
Click here for the story from the Boston Herald.
Click here for the story in Life With Dogs.
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