As Noah Foote and Joshua Bradbury were watching the floodwaters rise in Kauai County, Hawaii., Tuesday afternoon, they noticed a stray dog looking at them from the opposite side of the rushing water, HawaiiNewsNow reported.
Hurricane Lane had lashed at the island, and rains had pounded the area and caused normally-small streams like the Waikomo Stream to swell into dangerous, rapid rivers.
But as they watched the dog, 30-year-old Bradbury decided that he would rescue the stray if it jumped into the water, Bradbury’s father said, according to KHON.
“They were just talking about it and Josh’s friend, Noah, said if that dog goes in, man, I’m gonna have to jump in and get it, and it came towards them in a moment,” he said, the station reported.
“He jumped in the stream,” Foote said, according to HawaiiNewsNow. “I ran through the bushes, and I saw Josh pretty much push the puppy towards me.”
The dog got out of the water safely, and Bradbury floated down the stream while Foote gave chase, the station reported. Bradbury seemed fine — until he approached a culvert and vanished, Foote said, according to the station.
“I was going to do anything to find him,” Foote said, according to KHON.. “It’s frustrating, you know, if we could rewind, right? But he loved animals.”
Rescuers and bystanders searched the area and found Bradbury’s body a few hours later, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. His cause of death has yet to be announced.
Bradbury was a “big-hearted, beautiful person” with a love for “all creatures,” Bradbury’s father said, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
“It speaks to the kind of character that Josh was. You know, he was the kind of person that would would go out after it and he went to save the dog and he did save the dog so he goes out a hero,” Bradbury’’s friend Cory Mira said, according to KITV.
“I was crying all last night. It really is just a dream and it hasn’t hit home yet,” Foote said, HawaiiNewsNow reported. “I’m going to miss everything about him. He was my best friend and my brother.”
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. called the situation “tragic” and said the government continued to advised people to stay out of the water because it is difficult to “determine how strong” the current is, KHON reported.