Apple Valley man rescues teen, 2 dogs who fell through ice on Minnesota River |

Apple Valley man rescues teen, 2 dogs who fell through ice on Minnesota River

Updated: January 02, 2020 05:36 PM

An Apple Valley man helped save two dogs and a woman from the Minnesota River on New Year's Day.

Mike Torp was enjoying the new year by taking out his bike for a ride along the Minnesota River when he saw a dog in the river about 15 feet from shore, another on the ice and a woman trying to help the two dogs.

"I maybe blinked twice and the second dog was in the river, as she was trying to help the dogs, she fell in herself," Torp recalled.

He took his bike and went running down to help.

"I lay down at the edge of the shore, I’m just laying down, I just pushed my bike out to her, to her credit she grabbed my bike and then helped the two dogs up and then lifted herself up onto my bike, and then I pulled her in," he said. 

He shared his gloves and jacket with the teen, and walked her up the trail where Bloomington police and fire crews met them.

"Our message today on this is, obviously, this woman got really lucky that there was someone there in the right place at the right time to go out and save her, but the ice isn’t safe," said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts.

Police said this is a reminder to keep pets on leashes and to not venture out onto any ice right now.

"It’s just such an eye-opener about how fast things can change," Torp said.

Twenty-four hours later, the father of three similar aged children and avid cyclist can't help but reflect on fate.

"I am so glad I was there at that time, the right place, the right time, everything just lined up for me to be there so, yeah, fate, or meant to be, whatever it was, I’m glad that I was there," Torp added.

Torp was supposed to go riding with his cycling group Wednesday morning, but that ride was canceled. Instead, he decided to go out by himself after the Minnesota Gophers game and helped turn what could have been a tragic story into one with a very happy ending.

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Jessica Miles

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