"GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - A dog that was presumed drowned after falling into an icy river channel that feeds Lake Michigan was found alive hours later and returned to its grateful owner.
Robert Chavez was walking two of his dogs alongside the Grand River around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday when his German shepherd fell into the channel and broke through the ice.
The ice prevented Chavez from getting the dog out of the water, so he ran to a nearby home and called 911. When he returned to the river, he could not find the dog.
Officers from the Public Safety Department and the Coast Guard station searched, but they also could not find the animal.
Around 9:45 p.m., a woman reported that she and her friends had heard a dog barking as they walked along the channel's south pier.
Responding officers also heard barking that appeared to be coming from a tunnel beneath the pier, but they were unable to remove a 12-inch service cover to gain access to it.
Two hours later, a man reported that he had also heard barking sounds, and he managed to remove the cover and found a dog trapped in the tunnel.
Sheriff's Deputy Mike Petroelje used a leash to free the dog, The Muskegon Chronicle reported. The dog was not injured.
Strangely, officials said they believe the German shepherd gained access to the tunnel by swimming through a hole created in the channel's seawall when it was rammed by a Mackinaw while the new icebreaker was on a tour of Great Lakes ports.
The Mackinaw's captain was removed from his post after the accident, which also left an 8-foot-by-3-foot dent in the bow of the $90 million ship."