Duluth Firefighters Rescue Dog That Jumped into Water Near Aerial Lift Bridge
Firefighters in Duluth carried out a harrowing rescue of a dog who had escaped off his leash and jumped into the water near the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge last Thursday.
When firefighters arrived, the dog was struggling in 8-foot-plus waves in the middle of the ship canal. Crew members entered the water in ice rescue suits that are designed to work in the extreme cold water and ice of Lake Superior, and a 14-foot inflatable rescue boat was also deployed.
The dog was dark in color and kept slipping below the surface, making him difficult to find. Firefighters were finally able to get a hold of the dog by his collar but were not able to do much more against the heavy waves other than keep him from going under again. The dog was large, scared, and was struggling, which added to the difficulty.
The crew and dog were being swept in towards the bay, and as they were passing under the bridge, the rescue boat arrived on scene and the dog and firefighters were able to get into the boat. The boat was driven to the back side of the South Pier Inn, where the water is calmer and more protected.
The dog, who was completely exhausted, was reunited with his owners and appeared OK when he jumped into his owners’ car.
Fire department officials say they attempted the rescue because bystanders and owners often take action themselves, and the female individual who reported the incident was threatening to jump in herself.