Man rescued from icy pond after risking life to save his dogs in Delaware

MARSHALLTON, Delaware -- Surface Water Rescue members say a man is lucky to be alive, and he himself is grateful to those who rescued him from an icy pond Friday night.

Rescue teams conducted a dramatic rescue to save George Esterling who fell into the icy pond in Delaware.

Esterling went in to rescue his dogs, a boxer and bassett hound, who were chasing geese.

"Right when I got to the dogs, the ice fell in for me," said Esterling.

He managed to throw the dogs to safety, but he himself was unable to get out.

"I tried and tried," Esterling said. "Every time I tried to boost myself up, the ice would cave in. It was deep. I couldn't touch the bottom."

Firefighters arrived on the scene after a young couple called to report what happened.

"He was minutes away from going under," Firefighter Michael Emmell said. "He was panicking. He was ready to give up."

Finally, they were able to get him out of the pond and rush him to the hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

As of Friday night, Esterling's dogs were okay and he was back at work, grateful to his rescuers and the couple who called for help.

"If it wasn't for the young couple there, things would have been a little different," Esterling said. "I wish I had their names, but thank you."
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