Port worker dodges cruise ship to save dog

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Tropical Shipping employee Dave Soule couldn't believe his eyes.

A lab mix paddling for his life in the turn basin used by ships entering the Port Of Palm Beach. "He wouldn't have been able to get out. No way," he said.

Tuesday morning, the Celebration Cruise ship was entering the port with a dog in it's way. "The Bahama Celebration would have run it over," he said.

Soule got in a boat trying to avert disaster between the floating behemoth and the pooch in peril.

"So I got on the pilot boat and went out. Took my boots off, my shirt and dove in to grab the dog. I gave it to the pilot, and then got on top of the boat, and we got out of there in the nick of time," he said.

When asked about the danger posed by the approaching cruise ship,"I was a little nervous, what if I didn't get back on the boat?" he asked.

The dog ran away as soon as they got back to dry land.

But then came a call of another dog stuck in huge tires by slip 2.

An unflinching and already soaked Soule jumped in again and rescued that one, too.

The shepherd mix was taken to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control for observation.

"She's doing well. She's got good body weight, and we can tell she recently had babies. She does seem to have a chronic eye problem but nothing related to today's [Tuesday's] experience," said Captain Dave Wolesky.

Two dog rescues and a race against a cruise ship in one day.

Soule's co-workers at the port call him a hero. "I wouldn't say I'm a hero. Anybody would have done that," he said.

A man, who says, he's the owner of the dogs called the station Tuesday evening. The one that got away actually ran back home. His family lives near the port across Broadway.

He has no idea why both of his dogs would be in the Intracoastal.

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