Reach and Rescue for Rocket

3 July 2018

Michael Faassen, one of our fine aquatic trainers, put his skills into action recently in a manoeuvre a little too close to home!

Michael and his Pomeranian X Chihuahua, Rocket, were going for their usual evening walk in the park, with Rocket off the lead as he faithfully follows his master – however, Michael always carries a lead just in case they run into the Ranger.

As Michael and pooch walked over a footbridge by the pond, Michael heard a ‘Plop!’ sound – Rocket had fallen in! Rocket was splashing about and keeping afloat, his dog paddle was fine, but he had no concept of survival backstroke.

Michael immediately tried a talk rescue and had nearly talked him to a rocky embankment where he could climb out when, suddenly, Rocket became disorientated and started swimming in circles and back out to the middle of the pond!

Michael then decided he would have to get in for a wade and tow rescue. As they were at least a kilometre from home, Michael decided it was best to strip down to have some dry clothes for the journey back. Just as he started to undress, Rocket made a bee line for the footbridge where he found a couple of rocks to perch on which kept his head above the water level.

Michael laid down on the footbridge with Rocket directly beneath him. He precariously dangled himself from the bridge to try and clip Rocket’s lead to his collar for a reach rescue. When Michael finally managed to clip the lead on, he was faced with another dilemma.

If he yanked Rocket up, he could choke him – or, the collar could slip off.

As Michael pondered on his situation, Rocket’s little curly Pomeranian tail stood straight up - so with one hand on the lead and one on his tail, Michael lifted Rocket up and threw him over his head to the safety of the bridge!

With the reach and throw rescue safely orchestrated, the sight of Michael and Rocket sprawled out on the footbridge may have beguiled the elderly couple walking the other way!

If you’d like to be equipped with vital lifesaving skills like Michael, check out of lifesaving courses by clicking below.

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