Police say a walk along the Welland Canal in Dain City nearly ended in an terrifying accident for one Welland resident. Police were notified of a woman who had fallen through the ice and was in the freezing water of the Welland Canal after trying to rescue her dog who had fallen in. The caller for help was Marcel Therrien who had been out walking his own dog with a friend.The incident took place along the west bank of the shipping canal approximately 1 kilometer south of Forkes Road in Dain City. This area is often used by people walking their dogs and exercising along a gravel seaway authority access road. The incident took place at 2:47 p.m.
Police were on scene and ran with rope in hand for over a kilometer before coming to the aid of a civilian rescuer and the woman in the water. Prolonged exposure to the cold water had made the woman incapable of gripping anything. Cst. Lindey shed his bulky equipment to slide upon the ice surface in order to secure a rescue rope around the wrist of the woman. Once the efforts to pull the woman began, the ice collapsed under Cst. Lindey causing him to plunge into the water. Cst. Lindey pushed while others pulled the woman to safety. Cst. Lindey was then retrieved from the water.
Lia Ciocci was subsequently transported by ambulance to the Welland County General Hospital (WCGH) where she is expected to make a full recovery from hypothermia.
Cst. Lindey was also treated for cold water exposure at WCGH and is expected to fully recover. It was later established in an investigation that Ciocci had gone out onto the ice in an attempt to rescue her dog which had fallen into the water but unfortunately the dog was not recovered.
The public must be reminded that the unusual seasonal fluctuation of temperatures has made local waterways very unsafe. There is tremendous risk when entering onto any ice surface within the Niagara Region.
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