Man Rescued After Following Dog into Icy Water
Updated: Monday, February 11 2013, 08:34 PM EST
BUCKEYE LAKE -- A Millersport man said he thought he might die in the water Sunday night after he fell in trying to save his friend's puppy.
"You feel hypothermia setting in. You can actually feel yourself going numb. It's a very scary feeling," Chuck Knapp said.
Knapp was walking his friend's three-month-old black Labrador when the puppy fell in the water. The dog, named Clyde, was not on a leash.
Knapp said he tried to grab Clyde from the shore when he inadvertently joined the dog in the ice-cold water.
Knapp recalled breaking through the thin ice as he waded through waist deep water near the shore. Steep banks made it impossible for him to climb out.
"I got over to that ladder, but I was so weak with hypothermia I couldn't pull myself out," he recalled.
Knapp eventually made his way to a jetty just a few yards off shore where he waited nearly two hours for rescuers to reach him.
"I couldn't feel anything, but I had to keep going. There was no choice. It was that or die," Knapp said.
The tiny peninsula is made out of large rocks, which made it hard for rescuers to carry him on a stretcher.
Further complicating matters, the frozen water made it impossible for rescuers to get a boat to Knapp.
Neighbors who heard Knapp calling out came to help, including Michael Newlun, who said he helped a police officer fish the dog out of water that was rushing into a spillway.
Knapp brought the dog back to the same area on Monday afternoon. This time, however, Clyde was on a leash.
Reporter: Dana Jay
Web Producer: Ken Hines