U.S. Coast Guardsman, Tim Putnam, made a split decision Tuesday morning to save a dog that slipped into freezing Michigan waters.
The incident occurred in the channel that connects Lakes Betsie and Michigan, right outside the Coast Guard Station where witnesses say the wandering labrador slipped off the south-side channel wall.
Staffers at the Coast Guard station were in a morning meeting when they were alerted of the animal in distress and moments later Putnam and another rescuer were outfitting their ice rescue suits and entering the frigid water.
A worker at the nearby Oliver Art center captures this video of the rescue below.
"You could tell she was ready to get out," said Putnam, a boatswain mate third class. "She was pretty shook up."
The half frozen conditions made the rescue much harder for Putnam and company and delayed their rescue efforts.
"I could crawl on top of the ice for some of it, but it wasn't stable," Putnam said. "I was able to push the ice out of the way and move forward, it took a little while."
After reaching the dog, Putnam and the other rescuer helped boost the animal out of the water and into the arms of another guardsman waiting on the shore. In total, the rescue effort took just short of 25 minutes.
The dog has no tags of chips and was taken to the Benzie County Animal Shelter and is expected to make a full recovery.
Putnam is hopeful the opener will come forward and claim the dog, but says in the event that doesn't happen he is entertaining the option of adopting the animal himself.
Despite the traumatic ordeal, "she seems to be in good spirits," Putnam said.