Wellesley Emergency Rescue Team Pulls Dog From Icy Charles River

Crews plunged into the cold water to get the pup back to the shoreline.

Police and rescue crews didn’t hesitate before jumping into the freezing cold waters of the Charles River over the weekend in order to extract a dog that had fallen through the ice, and couldn’t crawl back to land.

On December 22, officers from the Wellesley Police Department received a “frantic” 911 call from a person who claimed their Golden Retriever, Crosby, made his way onto a remote part of the Charles River, where the ice was thin, and fell through.

Dispatchers relied on the caller’s smartphone GPS location to pinpoint exactly where they were along the river, according to police.

“This information was absolutely critical in directing responders to the correct area,” officials said in a video of the dramatic rescue, which was posted online over the weekend by Wellesley Police.

The dog was stuck roughly 50 yards off-shore, and could not crawl onto the thin sheets of surrounding ice to make it back to its owner, because it kept breaking around him.

Upon arrival, Wellesley Firefighter Dave Papazian and Wellesley Fire Lieutenant Paul Delaney wasted no time gearing up in “Cold Water Survival” suits, which allowed them to submerge themselves into the frigid waters without risking immediate shock from the cold, to swim to the dog’s rescue.

“Papazian was able to swim out, breaking the ice on the way. He was able to rescue Crosby and guide her to shore,” police said.

During the rescue, Papazian was attached to a rope as Crosby clung to his suit in order to keep his head above water, as the pair was reeled towards land by a team of responders.

Once safely on four legs along the banks of the Charles,  the five-year-old Golden Retriever, cold and shaking, was dried off and kept warm using a fire coat. Officials said Crosby was in good health, and was reunited with her owner a short time after the rescue.


  • BeResponsible

    Why was this dog off-leash? Yet another irresponsible pet owner. Going forward she needs to keep her dog on a leash for his protection!

  • BeResponsible

    Wellesley has a leash law – this dog owner should be fined $50 per TBL Article 47! Laws exist for a reason. Thank God the dog and/or the rescuers didn’t dies or suffer any harm as a result of the owners’s negligence. These rescue workers are to be commended for a job well done. Our taxpayer dollars pay for services like these. This dog owner needs to at least pay a fine to contribute towards the cost of this rescue. Why should us taxpayers have to foot the bill because she broke the town leash law?

    • revzef

      Have you ever tried to really exercise a dog on a leash? It is impossible. Dogs need to run. Leash laws should be relaxed a bit — especially in wide open park areas. There is room in this world for dogs to run free. To leash or not to leash should remain up to the owners’ discretion. Education is better than laws and fines.

      • dw

        Actually, it IS possible to get a dog enough exercise on leash and/or without breaking leash laws, and plenty of responsible dog owners do it every day. Fence your yard. Take your dog to designated off leash areas. Take up running and take your dog along. Train your dog in a dog sport. There are plenty of options, and there are also plenty of places in the state where dogs are legally allowed off leash.

        An individual dog owner’s desire to flaunt leash laws does not override the rights of the general public (including the elderly, infirm, children, or others who may wish to enjoy parks WITHOUT interacting with off leash dogs).

        Dogs are animals, and there is no 100% reliable way to predict how they will react in any given situation regardless of training. It’s simply not possible to proof for all possibilities. Owners need to take responsibility and follow leash laws.

        • Roberta Metalious

          OMG, will you shut up?!?

        • Serge

          i think most people already understand a lot of the things you keep saying, and are still happy about the dog’s rescue

  • Paul David Mena

    Not saying that it’s right or wrong, but plenty of people let their dogs off-leash at Elm Bank. It’s essentially an unofficial dog park.

    • dw

      Elm Bank is a DCR property, and leashes are required.

  • djg58

    Dogs need to run and play. There need to be places for dog owners to be able to spend time walking, playing and running with their dogs. In winter though, being near bodies of water that ice over are very dangerous. Let’s focus on the good news that both the owner and the dog are alive and try to educate everyone about the dangers of being out on ice, with or without a dog.

  • Rhonda F Black

    Thanks for rescuing the dog.

  • Dawn Angert

    Thank you guys. You are the best! I love stuff like this!

  • Susan Axtell

    The dedication these men have to life…to this one life, gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes. The Merriest Christmas ever filled with love and laughter to these awesome individuals!

  • revzef

    A wonderful story about police doing what they should be doing — protecting life. So refreshing. Thank you to these fine public servants who know the meaning of their jobs.

  • T Vitale

    The Christmas Spirit arrives in Bean-Town. “Crosby” is saved, hopefully by a Bruins fan. GO PENGUINS!!

  • Otto

    The article claims that the dog is both male and female. Excellent reporting!

    “…a person who claimed their Golden Retriever, Crosby, made his way onto a remote part of the Charles River…”

    “…and could not crawl onto the thin sheets of surrounding ice to make it back to its owner, because it kept breaking around him.”

    “He was able to rescue Crosby and guide her to shore…”

    “Officials said Crosby was in good health, and was reunited with her owner…”

    • sheilam22

      OH STFU – I guess you are perfect and never make mistakes – MISERABLE DICK WAD.

    • Mary Jane Kelly

      THIS is what you take from the story? Go back to your kardashian sightings.

  • Norascats

    Great job! Those suits really save lives!

  • Elisa Angelica Sosa Ceballos


  • scwebbie

    I am glad that you would do this for this animal and his/her owner. Thank you for your service.

  • Glenda LaHaye

    God bless each and every one of you for putting yourselves in harm’s way. Thank you from my two Golden Retriever’s, Brodie and JayDee!

  • Diana Winters

    Bless you all

  • Jim Porter

    God bless you folks

  • Jackke Friend

    Boston’s Finest – Thank you & Merry Christmas

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glrQXIl_YNs Phaerisee

    They saved the dog! They broke our jobs! They took our tur!

  • Susan Mansour-Hammond

    I am happy that I am from such a great state where fire and police employees would go out of their way to save a dog. I live in TN now and I doubt that would happen. Thank you to all that helped!

  • Mary Jane Kelly

    Lovely story. I would be eternally grateful.

  • Tina Campbell Murrill

    THANK GOD for these ANGELS!!!! Glad to know Crosby’s doing well!!!

  • dw

    It’s great the dog was saved, but I’m wondering how much this rescue cost taxpayers.

    What if there had been another emergency call at the same time–a car accident, fire, or perhaps a child falling through ice–but responders were not available because they were saving a dog that was illegally off leash? Would we all be so congratulatory if that were the case?

    It has been reported elsewhere that this incident occurred at Elm Bank Reservation, which is a DCR property where leashes are required. This pet owner was behaving irresponsibly and put not only her pet, but the rescuers at risk. Had the dog been on-leash as required, this incident would never have occurred. Will she be fined for an off-leash violation? Will she have to pay some, or all, of the cost of the rescue?

    • Judy Mantle

      How about growing a heart

      • dw

        I have a heart, Judy. I also have two very fit, happy, healthy dogs, who I’d NEVER have put in danger by allowing them onto the ice in those conditions (and as a result, nor would I have put the health and welfare of the responders at risk).

        I’d also never place my own desire to let my dogs run off leash above the rights of others to enjoy a park where a leash law is on place.

        It’s wonderful the dog was saved, but it’s too bad that this completely preventable incident was caused by the owner’s poor judgement and violation of law.

        • Roberta Metalious

          Nope, no heart….only a holier-than-thou attitude.

    • Guest

      Two points, dw:
      First-having worked with dog rescue for years, even
      the most responsible dog owners sometimes lose control of their dogs and need help finding and/or recovering them.
      Second-Incidents like this give first responders valuable experience using important, but rarely used rescue techniques

      • dw

        Agreed that “even the most responsible dog owners sometimes lose control of their dogs” but that’s not the situation here. This isn’t the case of a dog that slipped out of a house or yard when a door or gate was left open by a worker, or a dog that panicked during fireworks and jumped a fence or slipped a lead as a result, or a similar situation that might occur with a responsible dog owner. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

        A *responsible* dog owner would not have been walking off leash in a leashes-required area. A *responsible* dog owner would not have let their dog off-leash near a river with dangerous ice conditions.

    • Roberta Metalious

      All I can do is sit here shaking my head at your absolute need to be so critical and negative and hateful and hurtful.

    • http://ahrtwerx.blogspot.ca/ LadyAmethyst

      Speaking as a tax payer: feel free to use my taxes towards this kind of action, folks! I’d rather it be this way than watching as paramedics scrape some drunk driver off the pavement from on top of their innocent victim. We all have priorities – what we should also have is some compassion to those whose priorities are different than ours. Your hour of need shall eventually come & the LAST thing you will be thinking about is cost to taxpayers. Rest assured.

  • sheltie mom

    God bless you guys.its about time animals are getting more and more rights. and to the person who comminited what if there was another emergency while your out saving a dog. well since I have no children (and I know of several others whom do not have kids) my animals ARE my kids. animals should be part of a family not just put outside and throw it a bone once in awhile NO. animals are forever!!! and grow a heart…

  • riannonqas321

    Uncle Nicholas just got green BMW M4 Coupe by work parttime using a laptop…
    check out the post right here B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Michael Renzine

    Thank you