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Married couple, apparently trying to save dog, drown in Westfield pond

A married couple in their 60s drowned while apparently trying to rescue their dog from a pond in Westfield Monday evening, authorities said.

The 64-year-old husband and 61-year-old wife, whose names have not been released, lived near Hampton Ponds and were crossing the water in their pontoon boat Monday, said Westfield police Sergeant ­Raymond Manos, when "at some point both ended up in the water with their dog." Other boaters called 911 at 6:23 p.m.

With help from boaters, ­police extracted the couple from the water, Manos said. He said Hampton Ponds is a popular recreation area and typically has many boaters this time of year.

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Emergency Medical Services transported the man to Noble Hospital in Westfield and the woman to Holyoke Medical Center, according to a statement from State Police. Both were pronounced dead at the hospitals, the authorities said.

State Police detectives from the Hampden district attorney's office are investigating the drownings with assistance from Westfield police and other agencies.

State Police said preliminary reports indicate the man ­entered the water to retrieve the couple's small dog after it jumped off the boat.

Then, State Police said, the man became distressed while trying to reach the dog, and the woman entered the water to ­assist him, before she, too, ­became distressed.

Manos said it was possible the couple drowned while attempt­ing to rescue their dog, but he could not be certain ­until investigators had completed interviews with witnesses.

The dog survived, Manos said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.