THERE was a rescue drama at the lake in Lurgan Park in March 1986.
A youth noticed a dog scamper across the ice-covered surface towards the centre of the lake.
It fell through and was unable to get out of the water.
The youth immediately contacted his father, who was a local GP, and his brother.
The youth managed to inch his way across the ice on a canoe, using his hands to push himself forward.
He managed to get hold of the dog in the water but was then unable to get the canoe back up onto the ice.
The doctor then commandeered the Park Ranger’s boat at the edge of the lake and leaning his weight on the rear of the boat carefully pushed his way across the ice to where his son and the dog were stranded.
He said: “I was able to push the boat out although I feared that the ice would break under my weight at any time.
“When I got to where the ice had been broken I gathered the dog which was in a poor state and got it into the boat.”
It was impossible to get the boat out of the water and back in the ice to get ashore.
The doctor’s son was able to manoeuvre his canoe onto the ice and claw his way back to the shore where he was given a rope.
He went back on the ice to the boat and the crowd that had gathered managed to pull the boat and canoe back to the shore.
The dog had been stranded about 100 yards out towards the centre of the lake.
The dog had swallowed a lot of water and was much heavier than its normal weight. It was also suffering from exposure and shock.
“The dog was attended to by a vet and the last I heard it was making a good recovery,” said the doctor.
A member of a police patrol, who witnessed the rescue, said it was the most courageous thing he had ever seen. He praised the doctor and his sons.
The officer said a helicopter was on hand but fortunately they did not have to use it.
The dog’s owner was glad to have his pet back.
“We can’t thank the doctor and his sons enough,” he said. “From what I hear the doctor practically risked his own life to save him.
“The dog has been a family pet for the past 12 years and it would have broken our hearts to have lost him.”