A dog was rescued from certain death after getting precariously stuck on a Manchester canal sluice gate, surrounded by freezing waters last night.
The black and white cross breed was rescued by firefighters after becoming stranded on a ledge on the gate at Irlam Locks in Cadishead Way.
And now the hunt is on to find the dog’s owners; the RSPCA will look after her until then.
Watch Manager Jon Stewart, from Green Watch, said they were unsure how the dog had made her way down to a particularly ‘dangerous’ part of the canal sluice gate.
The dog – estimated to be two or three years old – was about 30ft down from a foot bridge and required a nine foot ladder to be lowered off the edge in the rescue.
The team had to work quickly as the gate could only be stopped from opening for an hour or the water builds up too high. If it had opened, the dog would have most likely drowned.
“We used a noose to secure the dog and had a firefighter behind the dog supporting its head then we pulled it up. It was cold and wet but in a reasonably good condition considering what it had gone through,” Mr Stewart said.
Crews from Eccles and Irlam fire stations were called to assist the RSPCA on the rescue just after 7.30pm.
RSPCA Inspector Paul Heaton said: “I’m always in absolute awe of the speed and professionalism of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service – two crews were on the scene in minutes and carried out an exceptionally professional rescue.
“It appeared at first to be one of the most dangerous and awkward situations with raging waters and temperatures of minus two degrees in the middle of a ship canal – rescues don’t get much harder than that.”
The fire service urge people never to attempt to rescue an animal from ice or water – you are likely to end up in the freezing water as well and unable to help the animal.
More than 50% of ice-related drownings involve an attempted rescue of a dog.
If you do see a person or animal in trouble in icy water, stay on the bank and phone 999.