Highlands & Islands

Lucky escape for man and dog on frozen Loch Morlich

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Media captionThe dog entered the frozen water of Loch Morlich on Saturday

Pet owners have been warned about the dangers of venturing into freezing water after a dog and its owner had a lucky escape on a Highland loch.

The animal fell through the frozen surface of Loch Morlich near Aviemore after a ball was thrown on to the ice.

A man smashed his way through the ice, wading in up to his neck, to rescue the struggling animal.

The rescue was captured by photographer Roger Cruickshank, who was using a drone camera to film views of the loch.

Mr Cruickshank said: "The dog wasn't big enough to pull itself out of the water. Every time it did manage, the ice would just crack again. We honestly thought it wouldn't make it and drown.

"A man went in to rescue it and the ice was thin enough so that he could punch through it. They were very lucky."

Although the man made it back to shore in the incident on Saturday, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service warned pet owners not to attempt similar action around ice.

A spokeswoman said: "We would encourage people to keep their animals under control so they do not go out onto ice.

"If their animal does go out, whilst it may be weight bearing for the animal, it might not be for the person. So please do not go onto the ice to coax the animal back to shore.

"If the animal has entered the water and they feel it is at risk, then they should call 999 for assistance. But under no circumstances, should they enter the water themselves as it could put them at risk."