Men, Dogs Stage Polar Swim Fest

It's a sure sign of spring when passing humanitarians plunge into the Charles after foundering dogs. Walter Gindele and his son did just this, from an indirect approach, yesterday when they walked over the thin-iced river in front of Dunster House to save an Irish Setter and a mongrel pup who had fallen through the crust.

The ice broke and the two would-be lifesavers found themselves testing their own dog-paddle. Minutes later Herman Herwitz of Brookline followed suit and was hauled out, clinging to the end of a ladder by members of the local gendarmerie.

Herwitz went to the hospital; one of the dogs drowned.