North Vancouver firefighters take icy dip to rescue dog stranded near rapids

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North Vancouver firefighters found themselves taking an icy dip in the Seymour River Friday, as they rescued a stranded four-legged hiker.

Crews were called to an area just upriver of rapids along the Fisherman’s Trail around 11:30 a.m.

That’s where Shack the dog’s owners say he chased a duck about half a kilometre up the opposite bank of the waterway, then became stranded.

District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Asst. Chief David Dales said crews arrived to find Shaq stuck on a rock face.

“It would have been a very negative outcome if the dog had gone into those rapids,” he said.

Members trained in swift water rescue bushwacked and scrambled their way down to a calm point in the river, swam across, secured Shack, and swam him back to safety.

Dales said Shack’s owners did the right thing by calling 911 for help instead of trying to rescue the pup themselves.

“We usually train for rescuing humans, but in this instance, we needed to get the dog so no humans would attempt a rescue,” he said.

“Do not enter the water.”

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