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Sweater-Wearing Dog Found Alive After Falling Off Drawbridge Into River

2:54 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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A small mixed breed dog was found alive after jumping off the Brickell Avenue drawbridge Tuesday night. (Source: David Bernstein/CBS4)

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A small dog who fell off the Brickell Avenue drawbridge as it was being opened has been found alive, more than 18 hours later.

The mixed breed dog was found on a restricted cemented area below the bridge. Bridge operators say it is a miracle the dog was able to land safely on the cement slab, but recent rains had cushioned the fall.

Witnesses say around 10 p.m. Tuesday, the dog approached the Brickell Avenue Drawbridge. As the dog crossed onto it, the drawbridge began rising.

"I was fearful about what was about to happen. I could see it kind of unfolding. So I wanted to make sure I didn't scare the dog in the direction of the danger," said David Bernstein, a motorist who sprung into action.

Bernstein was first-in-line at the closed bridge gates. He immediately exited his car and tried desperately to alert the bridge operator of the dog's impending doom, then tried calling the dog back to safety. Other motorists joined the effort, honking their horns and screaming at the bridge operator.

With all the noise and commotion, Bernstein cannot believe the bridge operator was oblivious to the situation.

"There were quite a few people who saw the events unfolding right before their eyes and who were causing quite a scene," said Bernstein.

The dog continued across the rising drawbridge. That's when the unthinkable happened: the dog reached the middle, where the drawbridge's halves meet, and plummeted into the Miami River.

"She starts sliding ... and I literally just missed her by a foot," said Bernstein.

David spent the next hour searching for the dog, but she appeared to be gone.

Wednesday afternoon, he came back and found a drawbridge operate who remembered that engineers had built little tunnels in the bridge. The dog did not fall into the water, she fell into one of those tunnels.

"And she said, the dog's in there, five stories down, walling around in the mud, and I was just, I was blown away," said Bernstein.

Now that the dog has been found alive, rescuers hope it can be reunited with its owners.

Potential owners, with proof, can call 954-496-0051 or email david@kobeni.com for additional information.

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