The FDNY Marine unit team may be experts at responding to shipboard fires, but they had a different emergency to deal with Tuesday – the rescue of one very soggy doggy.
The dog – a large brown-and-white Pit Bull type wearing a black collar – had apparently been thrown off a bridge into the Harlem river and was struggling to keep afloat.
Fortunately, there was a Good Samaritan on hand in the shape of construction worker @slimshady0321 (opens in new tab) who spotted the distressed pooch balancing on an underwater girder. After climbing down to try to reach the dog – now nicknamed Aquaman – the concerned civilian called for help.
FDNY Marine 4 were quick to respond, sending a rapid response boat within just a few minutes. As they neared the site, the crew, led by Lieutenant Sodano, could see the dog with his rescuer holding onto him from the shore and keeping him afloat.
In a statement on social media (opens in new tab), the FDNY said, “Members from Marine 4 were able to bring the dog on board the vessel and take him to shore, where he could receive the necessary care.”
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The FDNY Facebook post has now attracted over 13,000 likes and 2,000 comments since Tuesday.
Commenters were divided between relief that Aquaman was back on dry land, and anger at the unknown perpetrator for their cruelty.
“Thank you FDNY Marine 4 for saving that beautiful creature. Thank you to the kind-hearted civilian too!” said one commenter.
“For every person who destroys faith in humanity, there are far more who restore it. Thank you to all who helped that poor dog. Hope he finds the loving home he deserves,” added another.
Unlike some other breeds, Pit Bulls aren’t generally naturally good swimmers. Their dense muscle and comparatively heavy head can affect balance in the water and make it harder for them to stay afloat.
Fortunately this resourceful pooch was able to find a girder to balance on until help came and he could be hauled to safety.
According to the FDNY, “Without the quick response from both the civilian and FDNY members, the outcome for this animal could have been very different.”
It's currently unclear exactly how the dog ended up in the river or who’s responsible, but the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad, along with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has launched an investigation.
Rumor has it that several members of the FDNY are now interested in adopting Aquaman, so he’s sure to get a good home. What a great outcome for this brave little guy!
Sara is a freelance journalist and copywriter of many years’ experience with a lifelong love of animals. She’s written for a range of magazines and websites on subjects varying from pet care to travel. A horse rider since the age of five, she’s currently a full time pet slave to horse Blue and gorgeous, goofy English Springer Spaniel Olly. Adorable Olly has a huge sense of adventure and no sense of direction, keeping Sara on her toes.
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