District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were called to the Seymour River area after receiving multiple reports around 11:30 a.m. of a dog in distress just upstream from the rapids adjacent to the landslide site near Fisherman’s Trail.
“There is a bit of a swimming spot there. The dog chased a duck, got caught in the rapids, and then extricated himself onto the little cliff band there by the rocks,” according to assistant fire chief David Dales. “The dog was in distress. The family was in distress.”
Emergency crews trained in swift water rescue zoomed up Fisherman’s Trail in their four-wheel-drive vehicles and two swimmers deployed into the icy waters upstream from the dog, said Dales.
The swimmers mobilized to the spot where the dog was stuck and after some much-needed coaxing they got the dog back into the water.
“They were able to swim back upstream to where the family was,” said Dales, adding that given the conditions, it was best the family didn’t try and get to the distressed pooch themselves. “We actually had multiple calls because there were other people out on the trail who were quite concerned that the family was going to make bad choices.”
The dog had gone through the rapids and was a little banged up, but otherwise was OK, said Dales.
“We spend hundreds of hours a year in our multiple canyons and waterways to have the skill to do swift water rescue. Traditionally, we train to rescue humans in distress,” said Dales, who noted the training comes in handy when rescuing four-legged adventurers as well. “We were able to get this dog rescued in under 20 minutes.”