For nearly three hours on Sunday a dog was stranded in the middle of the icy Delaware River. The conditions were too dangerous for fire and police to help, but two men refused to sit by and do nothing.
The dog was spotted by residents near Trenton, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon. The dog was disoriented and frightened as it tried to navigate the ice. Residents and police attempted to lure the animal safely off the ice, but were unsuccessful. People began to feel helpless as they watched.
“There is a boat here, but we couldn’t get a boat out there and he or she just keeps roaming the middle of the same area,” said Cecilia Gardano. “It’s sad but we are trying.”
The icy conditions were too risky for firefighters and police to go out onto the ice and endanger themselves. Russ Miller and Ciro Silvestri had different ideas though. Silvestri had heard about the dog from a relative and rushed to help.
“She said that the fire department isn’t really wanting to do anything about it, they don’t want to endanger themselves,” said Silvestri. “If they are not going to do something, I will.”
Miller also felt compelled to do something and showed up with a kayak and a wet suit. Once officials left around 6 p.m. the two men made a move. The slowly made their way across the ice towards Duke and placed him in the kayak. Fifteen minutes later all three were safely back on land.
It was a risky maneuver and both men admitted they felt like the ice was going to give way several times.
Once rescued the dog, named Duke, was reunited with his very relieved owner.
“We had been missing our dog for the last three days,” said Duke’s owner Keonna Wilson. “I went to every animal shelter and everything looking for him. I was just about to put out flyers and then I got the call.”