Coast Guard rescues dog, man in St. Pete - FOX 13 News

Coast Guard rescues dog, man in St. Pete

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(Photo Kim Kuizon, FOX 13) (Photo Kim Kuizon, FOX 13)
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

There is nothing quite like the bond between man and his best friend.

"She was chasing after a bird, fell off the ledge and started sinking. I jumped in," Matt Bennette recalled.

Especially after one saved the other.

Matt Bennette never thought his walk with Nico would leave them both treading water in the bay.

"There are no ladders or anything so you are pretty much out there to drown," he said.

As the two thrashed about, men working on boats at the Vinoy marina heard them calling for help.

"I was whistling and yelling for them," Bennette said.

"We called the dock master first and then we got on our VHF radios and called the Coast Guard," said one of the workers.

For 15 minutes in the cold water, he struggled to keep his dog from drowning.

"She was trying to swim, but she is so heavy so she was just kind of sinking under," he said.

His other arm is cut up from barnacles on the sea wall.

"I put my arm under her stomach and just kind of held on with my right hand and held her up," he said.

He clung to them with one thought on his mind.

"I was going to die. I was going to drown and it is freezing," he said.

He refused to let go.

"I didn't want to let my dog go so I could live," he said.

The Coast Guard plucked them out of the water. Matt and Nico walked away with a few scratches, but an even closer bond.

"I just held on," he said.

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