Hillary Adams-Wainwright a 13 year old resident of Maine who also happens to to run her own lobster boat said she and her grandfather, Terry Adams, were heading back from selling their day’s haul of lobsters when they were alerted to a man and his dog in the boat channel of the Piscataqua river and in distress.
Chris Stephens had gone into the river after his medium sized dog, Penny, went out too deep while playing fetch at Peirce Island in Portsmouth, Maine and had gotten swept into the very strong current of the river.
Adams-Wainwright credited workers at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for getting her boat’s attention. She said she could hear whistling and saw men pointing and waving. Her grandfather then spotted the dog, which Adams-Wainwright said rescuing the dog was easy. Once they got a hold of the dog’s harness Penny practically jumped into the boat happy to be rescued from the rushing water. Her owner was a bit more difficult. Being a full grown man Hillary knew she could not pull him up and into the boat and her grandfather who has heart problems was worried the man would panic and pull him in also. The granddaughter – grandfather team decided to throw out a strong rope for the man to hold on to and they pulled him through the water. Once the man got to the side of the boat they told him to hold on to the boat for a while to catch his breath before attempting to climb into the boat with their help. After taking a few minutes he was able to with help to get into the boat and was reunited with his dog.
The Piscataqua River, has one of the strongest navigable currents in the world has strong currents even in the best of conditions at the time of the rescue was running particularly hard, at about 2 or 3 feet higher than normal. 13 year old Adams-Wainwright thinks that people and their dogs need to be careful of the river and not venture too far from the shore line the current is very strong and if you were to find yourself in the boat channel it would be difficult for boats to see you or your dog.