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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Found 'Screaming for Help,' Drowning After Diving Into Floodwaters to Save Struggling Pup

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San Angelo, Texas, has seen a lot of rain over the past few days. On Tuesday morning, a flood warning was issued for the county.

Richard McGinty was walking along an overpass on Tuesday afternoon when he saw a terrible sight: a dog struggling for its life in a rain-swollen arroyo.

With no hesitation, McGinty dove in. He managed to reach the dog and prop it up on some partially submerged bushes and trees.

But he couldn’t get back out again. According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, he began “screaming for help,” and calls came in to police about a man drowning in the arroyo.

Officers arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m., but another passerby had already gotten McGinty out of the water using a tow rope.

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So there they were: first responders, McGinty, his rescuer and other bystanders, looking down at the dog still hanging out in the brush below the overpass.

Authorities used a long pole to snare the dog and pull it up to the road. McGinty made sure to give it a pat before an officer took it away.

“I’m exhausted but OK,” McGinty said. “I was in the water for about 15 minutes.”

“I dove in after him. I tried to save the dog … and almost drowned in the process.”

He explained what had happened in an interview with San Angelo LIVE.

“I was walking down the overpass and witnessed a dog that was drowning in high floodwaters. I dived in after the dog and saved the dog’s life,” he said.

“In the process, I almost drowned too.”

People who heard about McGinty’s bravery commended his selfless actions online.

“This made me tear up,” one Facebook user commented. “Thank you sir. Glad [you’re] both ok.”

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“What a wonderful man and great thing that he did,” wrote another. “He saved a life today that almost cost him his. Just when you start to lose faith in humanity, you see a story like this. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for saving this little [dog’s] life.”

When asked why he would risk his life to save the dog, McGinty said it was his duty.

“The dog needed somebody to save him,” he explained. “I mean, dog, animal — no matter what it is, if somebody’s life is on the line, it’s our job to try to serve and protect.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking