Essex

Pants man Malcolm Jarvis talks of Essex dog ice rescue

  • 15 February 2012
  • From the section Essex

A man from Essex who crawled across thin ice in his underwear to rescue the family dog said he could not stand by and watch the animal drown.

Malcolm Jarvis, 48, of Bradfield, crawled onto ice on the River Stour at Dedham last weekend to rescue Jack Russell dog Bentley.

He told the BBC that what he did was dangerous and he could have died, but felt the adrenalin kick in.

Mr Jarvis said he did not recommend anyone else to follow his example.

At the time the picture of Mr Jarvis' rescue of the dog became public, an Essex Fire Service spokesman said the action was "extremely dangerous".

Mr Jarvis said he acted two minutes into a family walk along the River Stour, when Bentley ran after some ducks and fell through the ice.

Malcolm Jarvis and his dog Bentley
Malcolm Jarvis says adrenalin kicked in to help him rescue his dog Bentley

Mr Jarvis accepted what he did next seems like madness.

"I saw him becoming more and more distressed... and had to make a decision," he said.

"I guess the adrenalin kicks in and... he is a precious family member and I could not let him die.

"I had to go in. I knew I'd be in the water, so I stripped off and made my way out on the ice," he said.

"I didn't know how thick the ice was at that stage... I went out 15 feet and the ice gave way. I grabbed Bentley and then managed to swim back to the edge of the firmer ice and haul myself back.

"I would not recommend everybody else takes the same action. It's just at the moment you don't think."

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