A bridge inspector is being praised for rescuing a dog stuck high above the Mississippi River over the weekend.
Ryan Nataluk and his crew were working on the Natchez–Vidalia Bridge on Sunday when engineer Craig Jenkins saw something out of the ordinary, according to CNN.
“Craig called over the radio, ‘I see a dog!’” Nataluk recalled. “We’ve never seen a live dog before so at first I thought it was a raccoon.”
The shy pup was stranded on a lower chord of the bridge, just waiting for someone to save her.
Nataluk, an avid mountain climber and a vice president and lead engineer for the Stantec company, has been inspecting and climbing bridges for over 23 years.
“I go camping and climbing all over with my family and dog. I’ve had to bring my own dog across rivers and even haul him up peaks and overtime I’ve figured out how to make makeshift harnesses,” he said.
When Nataluk climbed down to her, the canine quickly warmed up to him and he was able to tie a piece of cord around her like a harness.
Moments later, Officer John Fenly arrived to assist in the rescue.
The Stantec company shared video footage on Instagram of Nataluk and Fenly working to lift the pup to safety:
View this post on Instagram
Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Our bridge inspection crew was working over the Mississippi River this weekend when bridge inspector Craig Jenkins noticed a stranded dog beneath the bridge deck, 120ft above the river. Ryan Nataluk, lead climber and rescue technician for the team, quickly called the police for assistance and climbed down to the dog. After assessing her for injuries and fashioning a makeshift harness for the dog out of rope, Ryan lifted her to safety. No one is sure how she ended up down there, but this heartwarming rescue story proves that not all heroes wear capes!
“No one is sure how she ended up down there, but this heartwarming rescue story proves that not all heroes wear capes!” the post read.
Following the incident, Nataluk was worried the dog was injured but his fears were allayed once she was in Fenly’s care.
“When we got her up there she just started walking immediately and wagging her tail. You could tell she was really happy,” he noted.
Nataluk’s crew said he should take her home with him to Colorado but someone else wanted to claim her, according to CNN.
“She is a very fortunate dog,” Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong commented, adding, “They need to name her, ‘Lucky.’”