An Arizona man is being hailed as a hero after diving a freezing canal in Scottsdale, Arizona to save a man and hid dog who had fallen in.
Ryan Zuccarello and his dog Smokey Bear were out for their daily walk along the canal in Old Town Scottsdale. Smokey Bear was checking out the ducks that were swimming in the frigid waters below. Zuccarello said:
He got up on the brick part, probably about eight inches (~20cm) wide. As soon as I saw him get up there, I called him. Instead of coming toward me, he took one step toward the water. His hind legs slipped off, and he slipped over the edge and disappeared.
In a panic, Zuccarello yanked the leash, but was unable to stop him from falling in. Instead things got worse. He Said:
I got his head above the water. When I went to take a big pull to get him into my arms, his weight pulled me in, and I just flipped into the water.
In the process, he dislocated his shoulder while frantically trying to hold onto Smokey. It was clear both were is serious trouble. Thankfully for Zuccarello, someone heard the commotion. That person was Ryan Correa. He would say:
I heard someone across the water yell ‘help,’ and I didn't know what was going on. I look over and see him reaching for something in the water. I saw Smokey emerge. I knew there was no choice. I didn't think. I just jumped.
When he reached the struggling pair, he held on to Smokey while Zuccarello levered himself out of the freezing water. Then the two worked to help Smokey out. Zuccarello said:
He was able to hand me the dog, and we both got up top safely. I was like ‘thank you. You literally saved my dog.’
Correa for his part downplayed his efforts and said he had no choice in the matter saying:
I like dogs. I like dogs a lot, so there was no way I was gonna let a dog drown, and [Zuccarello] too. No way I was gonna let that happen.
One result of the potential tragedy is the newfound friendship between Correa and Zuccarello who have bonded from the experience. Correa for his part remains humble saying:
I don't think I'm a hero. I just think I'm human. I'm just glad Smokey Bear and Ryan are OK.
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