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Dog Leaps from State Ferry into Puget Sound, Rescued as Travelers Applaud

April 21, 1991

EDMONDS, Wash. (AP) _ It had all the elements of a high seas drama: The passenger overboard. The brave crewmen. The gasping crowd. The rescue.

And, finally, the happy ending, when a 6-month-old black Labrador retriever named McGee was pulled from Puget Sound and reunited with her owner, Owen McDonald.

The drama began Friday when McGee wriggled free of her leash in the back of McDonald’s truck aboard the Washington state ferry Yakima. The ship had just left Edmonds, a suburb of Seattle, for Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula. McDonald lives just north of Edmonds in Marysville.

When Capt. Ronald Eliason learned that the dog was overboard, he made an emergency stop. Crew members Brad Eccles and Greg Jacobson set out in a rescue boat.

The small, black object they saw poking out of the water turned out to be a sea lion. But luckily, people on a pleasure boat meanwhile had spotted McGee and took her aboard.

No one aboard seemed to mind the 20-minute delay.

″When they were rescuing the dog, the whole crowd was down on the deck of the boat, all tensed up,″ said Thira Tally, a passenger. ″Then everybody was cheering and clapping and yahoo-ing. It was really great.″

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