Rescuers pull horse, submerged to the nose, from an ice-covered Columbia Township pond


Columbia Township, Michigan, firefighters put their ice rescue training to work late Monday, safely pulling a horse from an icy Van Buren County pond.

Firefighters were called to the area of 14th Avenue and 49th Street near Grand Junction for a report of a horse in the water. On the roadway, a homeowner flagged down the firefighters, and then lead them about 200 yards off the road to the pond, where the horse was struggling.

"All I saw was her nose,” said Deputy Fire Chief J.C. Robertson. “So I called in the guys, told 'em what we needed, They got into their water rescue suits and came out there, The chief and the captain tied off and went in, broke the ice and got her tied off.”

The horse’s owner also fell through the ice trying to rescue the animal, but was able to get out.

And the Columbia Township firefighters, assisted by a crew from the Bloomingdale Fire Department, were able to safely get the horse to shore as well.

"They did a great job, did what they were trained to do, although we don't usually train to rescue horses,” Robertson said. “But that's what we got out of the water tonight."

Authorities reported Tuesday that the horse and its owner are both doing fine.

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