A COUNTY Down man is being hailed as a hero after a video of him rescuing a dog from freezing cold waters went viral on social media.
The rescuer, who has been identified as Paddy Bond from County Down, was caught on camera entering the freezing waters in the Long Hole in Bangor over the weekend.
Posted on Facebook by photographer Jana Kukuckova, the video shows a brown labrador struggling and whimpering in deep water after getting tangled in a length of rope.
Paddy strips down to his shorts before swimming over to the distressed pup, who is clutching some of the rope in his teeth, and attempts to pull him to safety.
But because it's a dog, and that's what dogs do, at first the pup doesn't want to let go of the rope-- and even tries to swim back to it.
Eventually however, Bond manages to free the dog and bring him to the stone steps leading out of the water.
Paddy and the dog then climb up to safety to cheers and applause from people who had gathered at the Long Hole to watch the daring rescue take place.
One witness, Stephen Murray, told Belfast Live the mooring rope "got tangled around the dog as it was swimming".
"The owner said his dog loves swimming [so] we all thought that the dog was just stubborn and wouldn't let the rope go out of its mouth, but when Paddy got to it its back legs seemed to be tangled up in the old mooring rope.
"Paddy managed to get the dog released," he continued.
"It didn't put the dog off as he tried to swim back to it again but Paddy grabbed his collar and pulled him back to the safety of the steps.
"A great ending."