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Kayaker rescues puppy from harbor

Matt Corasanti was taking his gear off after a quick, after-work kayak outing in Fells Point when a frantic man ran up to him, saying his dog had fallen into the water and asking whether Corasanti could help him.

Corasanti hopped back into his kayak, docked at the Canton Kayak Club's pier in the 1600 block of Thames St., and paddled toward the puppy, which was trying to scramble back over a concrete barrier and onto the dock. But he couldn't reach the puppy.

So the 28-year-old Canton man slipped out of his kayak and into the harbor. Bobbing in his life jacket, Corasanti swam over to the little dog, plucked it up in one hand and lifted it to safety.

"My whole focus was trying not to get any water in my eyes or mouth," he said of the Monday evening rescue.

Marc Sumers noticed the commotion about 70 p.m. as he was taking pictures for a photography class at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He couldn't see what was happening on the other side of the wooden pylons and initially thought a child had fallen into the harbor. Sumers reached his camera out over the water and began blindly snapping pictures to see what was going on.

"I kind of chuckled a little bit," he said, when he looked at the photos, showing Corasanti hoisting the dog up to its owner.

"I was really glad the little puppy is OK," Sumers said. "It was jumping around excitedly. My first reaction was relief that it wasn't a child. And I'm glad the kayaker wasn't hurt either."

Neither Corasanti nor Sumers knew the dog's owners. They said the couple whisked away the animal soon after the incident.

Corasanti, who lives in Canton and works for Sylvan Learning in Harbor East, said friends and family all had similar reactions when he told them the story: "Ew, the harbor! That's a little gross."

"I took a hot shower when I got home," he said.

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