Timofey Yuriev, of Irvington, and his pet pooch were captured on camera courageously breaking through the ice to reach the two other pups, who were each separately trapped.
The Daily Mail reports that videos posted to Facebook by Yuriev’s wife, Melissa Kho, show Timofey, 45, and Kira wading out at the O’Hara nature centre on Saturday.
Kira even seems to push the other dogs in the right direction as they lead them to safety. The pair clear a path in the water and gradually make their way back to shore.
She wrote: ‘Just witnessed something amazing: My hubby (and pup) rescuing two dogs trapped in the ice.
‘We were walking around the lake and two dogs belonging to another owner had come down to the lake on the other end and started to cross it and then fell in when the ice gave way.
‘We thought they might swim out but realized they couldn’t and were just paddling in place and had stopped trying to get out. So we went over and Tim jumped in.’
Timofey, who grew up in Kazakhstan and learned to swim in Siberia, told WABC-TV: ‘When I did the breathing technique everything felt nice. I felt a bit light-headed and I went for the second dog.
He said his grandfather taught him to swim in ice when he was just seven-years-old and he has also tried freediving without the help of breathing equipment.
Yuriev told The Journal News/lohud Today: ‘When I saw the first dog, I just got undressed and went inside (the reservoir) immediately.
‘It was pretty dangerous. They got stuck. They tried to come out and after a while, they just stopped moving. I saw they were in trouble. There was no other way.
‘I looked at the ice and I understood that either I can climb on the ice, but it’s probably not going to support my weight, so I had to go in and just try to break it.’
He added: ‘Because I’m a free-diver, and I was exposed to the cold water before when I lived in Siberia in Russia, then I knew that I could probably even swim under the ice and just grab the dog and bring it back. Not a big deal.
‘So I just started working my way through.’
He said the owner of the two dogs was crying following the rescue, adding: ‘First she tried to stop me. She was so thankful.’
(Story source: Daily Mail)