Sight-seers got more than they bargained for when they headed out on a dolphin watching tour and ended up witnessing a heroic rescue.On July 11, sailboat captain Susi Herrington was taking out a group of tourists at St Pete Beach, Florida, when she spotted something in the water:
Yesterday we actually saw some dolphins and we were busy watching the dolphins, and all of a sudden captain Scott said, 'Susi, do you see what I see?' And I looked and I said, 'I see a dog.'
The dog, a 12-year-old black Labrador called Sam, was clearly in distress and struggling to keep his head above the water. Herrington immediately took action.
I lowered myself down and went into the water, swam over to the dog, got a hold of him by his collar, put my arm under his head and lifted his head out of the water and swam with him to a dock, a low dock. Somehow I pulled myself up to the dock, and I pulled the dog onto the dock. I don’t know how I did it.
Although Sam was a little stunned, he soon got up, shook himself, and led Herrington to his home, which was right next to the beach. His mom, Mary Doherty, was very grateful:
I couldn’t believe it, because our dog, he won’t even leave the yard. He comes into our pool by the beach. He will not jump into the pool, he’s never jumped into the water, so this was pretty shocking for me, and needless to say I was pretty upset about it, crying.
Because Sam has cataracts and clearly fears water, Doherty believes that he must have fallen over the sea wall when she went inside briefly to take a phone call.
For her part, Herrington has brushed off her new-found 'hero' status:
I was just doing my job. Just doing what I’ve been trained to do all these years of working on boats.
Even so, in saving Sam, Herrington showed amazing bravery and true compassion for animal-kind.
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