80-year-old Virginia man rescued from icy lake by police helicopter after canoe flips

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GAINSVILLE, Va. -- A Virginia man had to be rescued by a police helicopter after venturing out onto an icy lake to rescue his two dogs that had become trapped, according to WTTG.

Police told WTTG the rescue took place around 3:20 p.m. Sunday at Lake Manassas. William Blackwell, 80, reportedly went out into the icy waters in a canoe after his two dogs became stuck in the ice while chasing geese.

When Blackwell attempted to rescue one of the dogs, his canoe tipped over sending him in.

Two pilots and two rescue technicians aboard a police helicopter responded to the scene. Upon securing Blackwell and taking him to safety, the helicopter returned to rescue the two dogs.

Blackwell was in the water for about an hour, and his body temperature was about 80 degrees when he arrived at the hospital, according to WTTG.

One of the dogs, Bella, survived, but the second dog, Cocoa, did not.

Read more: WTTG

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