frozen river rescue toronto

A Toronto cop dove into an icy river to save a woman in a daring high-tech rescue

A woman is in hospital, and a Toronto cop was treated by paramedics after a daring rescue operation on Wednesday evening, in an incident doubling as a stark reminder that it's never safe to walk on winter ice.

Police were called to the scene of Glen Rouge Campground, just north of Kingston Road in Scarborough, around 8 p.m. on Wednesday to respond to a medical complaint after a woman fell through a layer of ice on the Rouge River.

Using a high-tech tool, an officer located the woman, and with little time to spare, dove into the frigid river after her and pulled her to safety.

Paramedics treated the officer on the scene for exposure, but the 30-year-old woman was rushed to hospital, currently in serious condition after an extended plunge in the sub-zero waters.

Mention of an app called what3words, instrumental in the woman's successful location and rescue, has people on Twitter asking questions about this technology that aided the search.

The app works by translating difficult-to-read GPS coordinates into sequences of three words (hence the name) that allow for more rapid and precise search and rescue operations.

Toronto Police tell blogTO that a friend of the woman phoned in the request for help, and provided officers with GPS coordinates to assist in their search.

A police representative says that officers "responded and located the woman in the water, trapped by ice." 

They then "went onto the ice and into the water, risking their life to pull the woman to safety. The officer who went into the water was treated by medics and returned to work."

It's anyone's guess how this situation would have played out without the technological tool at cops' disposal, with every second counting in these life-or-death situations.

Lead photo by

Vernon Bone

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