Dog News

Fishermen Rescue Dog at Risk of Drowning

by Katherine

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Lucy, a boxer from eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for Amy and Darryl Costello. The couple jumped into action to save the dog’s life when they over heard on their fishing boat’s radio that Lucy had fallen from a cliff and was being washed away from the cliff’s rocks were she was clinging to life.

On July 24, 2014, Lucy and her owner Paul March were out on a hike between Witless Bay and Bay Bulls. The dog was off leash and ran ahead, and when March called after her, the dog didn’t come back. He was worried and immediately searched the area, and found his four-legged companion at the bottom of a cliff.

Photo Credit: Paul March
Photo Credit: Paul March

“My dog is my best friend,” March told CBC News. “We play together, she hikes with me, we go everywhere together, and to look down in the cove there and see her clinging to the rock and periodically being washed off and swim back again it was just heartbreaking.”

Lucy somehow had fallen and got stranded on the rocky edge. There was no way for March to reach his pet, and the only thing he could do was call authorities. A call was broadcasted over emergency radio channels and that is how the Costello’s – who were fishing nearby – learned about the pet in distress.

“There was a good swell on, and we’ve got a 21-foot boat and we couldn’t get real close to where [Lucy] was, so my husband maneuvered the boat for ten minutes trying to figure it out,” said Amy Costello.

After realizing they wouldn’t be able to reach the pet with the boat, the brave woman and animal lover decided to swim to cliff’s edge and rescue the dog herself.

Photo Credit: Paul March
Photo Credit: Paul March

“When I got out to the cliff I just kind of talked to [the dog] for two or three minutes and she was frightened to death, but finally she put her head down and put the paw up and I knew she knew I was there to help her,” said Costello.

Lucy’s rescuers are pet owners too and on occasion they take their pet boating. As a precaution, the Costellos always place a life preserver on their dog, and for this impromptu rescue mission, Amy took her dog’s life preserver to the cove. Once she earned Lucy’s trust, she placed it on the dog and both swam back to the boat.

Photo Credit: Paul March
Photo Credit: Paul March

March couldn’t believe that Amy, a complete stranger to him, would be willing to risk her life to help save his pet. Hhe is grateful to have crossed path with such a heroic person on that day.

“To jump into that frigid water and start swimming, that was unbelievable to see somebody do that,” said March. “Lucy is doing fine. She’s as traumatized as I am.”

The Costellos are true heroes and March says that next time he goes hiking with Lucy, he will keep her on a short leash.