OKATIE, South Carolina (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — Woody, a seven-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, leaped into a South Carolina river March 21 and helped one of three men whose boat had capsized reach shore.
A Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report said 24-year-old Mason Ringer and his two co-workers were refurbishing a dock and had gone out on the Okatee River in a small johnboat for a ride during their lunch break.
After the boat overturned, one man managed to swim to shore and get out of the river on his own. A second man was found stuck up to his waist in mud in a shore side grass marsh by the crew of a rescue boat, who had responded to a passerby’s call that she had heard screams for help while walking along a trail. The third man, Ringer, said that as he was swimming back across the river – trying to get back to the dock where the three men had been working – he started cramping up and gave up trying to swim. He was just keeping afloat and yelling for help when he said he heard a dog bark.
Shortly thereafter a dog, which turned out to be Woody, was at his side, Ringer grabbed Woody’s tail and the dog towed him for a moment before Ringer lost his grip. Then the dog turned around and paddled back to where Ringer could reach his collar. With the help of the dog pulling Ringer said he was able to reach shore and climb aboard a dock.
Woody’s owners, who live in Savannah, said they didn’t know the man Woody saved and just happening to be visiting in the area that day.
Ringer said he owes Woody a big steak after the “miracle.”
A report from The Associated Press was used in this story.