A team of officials operating a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flying over North Carolina spotted — and rescued — a man who has stranded on top of a van with his dog, Lucky.
Willie Schubert of Pollocksville, North Carolina, was shirtless and had no shoes, surrounded by rising flood waters with only a small and untrustworthy platform keeping him and his small dog from danger, according to The News & Observer.
U.S. Coast Guard video shows moment rescue team airlifts a North Carolina man cradling his dog as the two were stranded atop a van amid #Florence's rising floodwaters. https://t.co/prLBW5sowR pic.twitter.com/VcanbGeaUQ
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 18, 2018
After they spotted the man and his furry friend, two rescue swimmers — Samuel Knoeppel and Randy Haba — jumped to action to save the pair. The rescuers were lowered down to a roof near where the van was floating.
Once Schubert was able to get onto the roof with Lucky, the Coast Guard swimmers placed him in a rescue cage and hoisted him up into the helicopter hovering above as he cradled his pup.
“Thank you,” an overwhelmed Schubert mouthed to the rescue team responsible for saving him and Lucky.
At the time of this article’s publishing, the death toll from Hurricane Florence, which ripped through the Carolinas late last week and into the weekend, is at least 33 people, according to CBS News. In North Carolina, 343,000 people are still without electricity.
The storm has now been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone and was recently located by the National Hurricane Center 105 miles west-northwest of New York City. It had maximum sustained winds of 25 mph.