MOBILE, AL -- A man jumped off the Bayway Sunday to rescue his dog who had jumped off the bridge minutes earlier. A fearless act giving the phrase: "mans best friend" a whole new meaning.
Al Trovinger, his family and their dog, River, were in standstill traffic in the east bound lanes of the Bayway after a car accident when they unintentionally created a scene of their own.
"We'd been on the Bayway for about 30 minutes and decided that we need to get out and let the dog walk around. As soon as we did we put her on a leash, she jumped over," Al Trovinger told WALA.
When she jumped, River's collar snapped in half. Trovinger watched helplessly from above for about 10 minutes before taking the plunge too.
He said, "We kept on looking at her could tell she was getting a little desperate finally there was nothing else we could do she was either going to drown or someone was going jump off and get her so I jumped off."
It wasn't an easy task. Trovinger tried to guide river to the shore, while river climbed on top of him.
"For the first couple minutes it was tough, but once I kind of got the right stroke and she was getting a little calmer, it was fine," he said.
Nearby good Samaritans threw in a dog vest to try and help. It didn't fit River, but did provide some buoyancy so they could make it to a boat launch just across from the battleship.
Trovinger said, "I felt confident that I could swim. I could see the distance and I knew I could swim the distance."
The rescue was a success. The man and River safely swam to the shore along the Causeway near Battleship Memorial Park. Trovinger was greeted by paramedics and a state trooper to make sure both were okay. He said he would do it again to save his dog.
The Trovinger's say they have had River for about three years.