Owner drowns in loch trying to save dog

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A MAN has died after falling through the ice of a frozen loch trying a rescue his dog.

The tragedy happened after the 37-year-old fell into the icy water in a vain attempt to stop his animal from drowning.

Emergency services were called to the incident at Gadloch, near Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, at 5pm yesterday afternoon after eyewitnesses saw the man fall into the frozen loch.

Witnesses living near the scene last night said police began to comb the loch at about 5pm, using a helicopter to light up the water.

The isolated spot sits behind an unoccupied farm house and is surrounded by trees, hiding it from the road and the nearby village of Lenzie

Officers from Strathclyde Police cordoned off Crosshills Road, half a mile from the incident. Visibly upset friends of the man arrived at the scene shortly before the road was reopened at about 8:15pm and were comforted by two police officers before driving away. They were too distressed to talk.

A spokesman from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said the loch, which is a mile long and almost 500 meters wide, was almost all frozen.

He added: “Eyewitnesses saw the man fall though the ice and into the water trying to rescue his dog and alerted the emergency services.”

Fire crew scrambled a boat, which was forced to break the ice as it sailed. They were able to pin-point the exact point where the man had fallen through the ice and tried to locate him using a hand-held thermal imaging camera. However, at about 7:30pm, the man’s body was found in the loch.

The tragedy has sent shock waves through the village. Lenzie resident Anna Williams, 55, said: “I saw the helicopter fly over and hover over the water. It stayed there for ages shining its spotlight on one area.”

Resident John Moore, 45, who lives just outside Lenzie on Crosshills Road, said: “Most of the people from the village who have dogs use that loch, it’s nice in summer but it’s very dangerous in winter.

“Most winters people use it for curling because it freezes.

“It’s very sad what has happened.”

Another resident, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “My friend told me a man was walking his dog and it went into the water. She said he went in after it and drowned.

“It’s shocking, because I was only down there with my dog earlier in the day.”

A statement from Strathclyde Police said: “At 7.30pm the body of a 37-year-old male was recovered from the water.”

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue added: “We would like to highlight the dangers involved.

“Keep pets on a lead around frozen water sources and do not put yourself at risk by attempting to rescue animals on ice.”