Sarah Thalhammer, who fell through the ice into a Long Island bay after chasing a pal's dog, is wheeled around Stony Brook Hospital yesterday along with her rescuer, cop Matthew DeMatteo. The pooch, Ace Ventura, is OK, too
An 11-year-old Long Island girl plummeted through the ice into Great South Bay yesterday after chasing her friend's dog -- but was heroically rescued by emergency responders.
Sarah Thalhammer was walking her pal's puppy, Ace Ventura, around 1 p.m. near the South Bay apartment complex in Sayville when the pooch broke free and made a mad dash onto the ice.
Sarah chased after the one-year-old Maltese-poodle mix about 30 feet, when the thin ice gave way under her.
Sarah, who was almost overcome by the bone-chilling waters, recalled afterward, "I was screaming. The water was up to my neck." A nearby resident heard the girl's harrowing cries and dialed 911.
Within minutes, Suffolk cops and members of the Sayville Fire Department were on the scene.
"I could see just her head sticking out of the water," said police officer Matthew DeMatteo, who crawled on his stomach to reach her.
"I was nervous that we'd both go in, but I couldn't just sit there and do nothing," said DeMatteo.
"When you see her in the water, you're going to do whatever you can to help her."
After he pulled the terrified girl out, the two began to make their way back to solid ground.
But the ice cracked again and both Sarah and DeMatteo were up to their waists.
Firefighter Chris Gonzalez thew them a rope and pulled them to safety.
The puppy never fell into the waters and was grabbed off the ice by firefighter Chuck Hartman.
"The dog was shaking and scared," said Hartman. "It was nice to save a life today."
Sarah, who was in the water for about 10 minutes, and DeMatteo were taken to the Stony Brook University hospital for observation.
Sarah, with an ear-to-ear grin, got to thank her rescuer, who responded with a simple "You're welcome."
"It was close, but it had a happy