When my wife first recounted this story to me I howled with laughter because, living here in the Pacific NW, what passes for “news” sometimes enters into the realm of the harebrained and sloppy-silly. But on reading the story, WA. Man Jumps Off Ferry to Save Dog,I began to understand the dog owners point of view (especially since we have a wonderful yellow Labrador of our own).
Hyak ferry crew pulls Jeff Fisher from the Sound (credit: Delfino L. Tiongco/Bremerton Sun)
It seems that Jeff Fisher and his family were on the WA State ferry, Hyak. When Fisher got out of his car with his dog to stretch his legs, the dog disappeared. Another ferry rider told him the dog had jumped overboard. Fisher, a former lifeguard, didn’t hesitate to jump into the cold Puget Sound waters after him (luckily bringing with him a life buoy).
Miraculously, he saved his dog AND the crew weren’t angry with his action. Actually, he couldn’t see his dog once he entered the water. The ferry crew launched a lifeboat, which eventually picked up both man and dog.
“We obviously do not encourage people to jump into the water from the ferry,” said Patricia Patterson, spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries. “But I understand the reaction. If it were my dog, I likely would have done the same thing.”
Imagine what the reaction would’ve been if he’d jumped off the Staten Island ferry?? Likely, he would’ve been charged with some infraction. Therein lies the charm of life in the Pacific NW. You can engage in slightly eccentric behavior and others empathize with it.
What would I have done? God, that’s a tough one. Not being a former lifeguard and, in fact, being only a so-so swimmer, I’m not sure I would’ve jumped (that’s a mighty tall jump into the Sound from that huge ferry!). But I totally understand Fisher’s impulse.
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