IRVINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Yonkers man sprung into action when a stranger’s pair of dogs fell through the ice.

He leapt right into the frigid water to save them with a little help from his own pooch. At first he thought about calling 911, but figured it would be too late by the time rescuers got to the Irvington Reservoir.

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Nerve wracking cell phone video shows a shirtless Timofey Yuriev wade into the icy water with his trusty golden retriever at his side to save the dogs that broke free from their owner.

“We heard a woman screaming,” Yuriev told CBS2. “The first fell in and then the second fell in. They tried to climb out but the ice was breaking and they couldn’t and after a little while they just stopped moving.”

Yuriev broke through the frozen lake with his elbows, going back to rescue the second dog with his beloved Kira.

“Maybe she felt that these dogs were in distress,” Yuriev said. “She would go to each dog and round them up and touch them with her nose and it was sort of like taking them back.”

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All the while the owner of the labs in danger watched on, terrified.

“First she tried to stop me,” Yuriev said. “After I got the second dog she was crying ‘thank you’.”

The 45-year-old says he was prepared for the cold, having spent time in Siberia and Canada. He’s also a swimmer and diver.

“There’s a point you can push on your arm, (which) activates your nervous… my grandfather hunter taught me this,” Yuriev said.

Signs along the nearby walking path say dogs must be on a leash at all times, but Yuriev says when it comes to the water, owners need to be even more cautious.

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Yuriev says he has a special breathing technique to gear up his body and get his adrenaline going before hopping in the icy water. In any case, he says he’d do it all again, especially with Kira by his side.