By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

PORTSMOUTH, NH (CBS) – A Haverhill man wants to find and thank the fisherman who saved him and his dog.

Chris Stephens was at the dog park on Peirce Island in Portsmouth with his new puppy Penny.

“We were throwing the ball in the water. She went out for it and didn’t see it and kept going,” Stephens said.

Stephens told WBZ-TV that Penny got caught in the powerful current of the Piscataqua River, and started to struggle. He says he jumped in to help, but found himself in trouble as well.

At that point, Stephens began calling for help.

“I couldn’t fight the current at all. And I was waiting and hoping someone would come and get us… I thought it was it,” he said. “I was running out of energy I had lost sight of Penny. I thought she was gone. And I thought I was right behind her.”

Someone on shore managed to flag down a fisherman who was on a boat with his 13-year-old daughter. The fisherman made it in time to pull Stephens and Penny out of the water before bringing them to shore.

“I thanked him and let him know him and his daughter saved my life. Without him I wouldn’t be here today. I was just grateful I saved both me and my dog,” he said.

Firefighters recommend people call 9-1-1 rather than risking their own lives, so trained professionals can help.

But Stephens says he can’t imagine losing Penny, and would go after her if it happened again.

Now, his goal is to find the fisherman who saved his life and took off without leaving a name.

“I wish I had his name, I wish I knew who he was,” Stephens said. “I owe my life and my dogs life to him and his daughter. What they did is, they’re heroes. They saved me.”


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