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Coast Guard rescues dog from icy Michigan waters

The Animal Welfare League of Benzie County said the dog was given a clean bill of health.

By
Ben Hooper

FRANKFORT, Mich., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said an ice rescue team in northern Michigan rescued a dog that jumped into an icy bay near a shipping channel.

The Coast Guard Station Frankfort said Petty Officer 1st Class Kurt Lubbers looked out from inside the station Tuesday and observed the dog jump into Betsie Bay, near the Frankfort Shipping Channel.

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Crew members activated the search and rescue alarm, contacting the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan and Benzie County 911, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Tim Putnam donned his ice rescue gear and swam out to rescue the dog.

The Coast Guard said it took Putnam about 20 minutes to swim the approximately 200 feet to the dog because of the large amount of broken ice in the bay.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Morris jumped into the water to help Putnam reach the six-foot-high break wall and the two officers and the rescued dog were pulled out of the water by officers with the help of Donald Ruff and Steve Brown.

The dog was warmed up inside the station's boathouse before being taken to the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County, where veterinarians said the canine did not have any serious injuries.

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"This was a total team effort by the members of our station and Mr. Brown and Mr. Ruff who assisted getting our members up the wall and back onto dry land," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Nendza, officer of charge of Station Frankfort. "Our crews train regularly for ice rescues, and in this case, we wanted to make sure we were the ones taking the risk of going onto the water instead of an unprepared bystander."

The Animal Rescue League said the dog was reunited with its owner.

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