It was just another ordinary day in New York when 38-year-old Gabe Castellanos celebrated his birthday in the East River. Enjoying his own special day with his friends and family, Castellanos never thought that the ocean survival skills he learned in college would come in very handy that fateful day.

It is a beautiful day in New York and everyone is enjoying the weather and the view from the riverbank where Castellanos and his family and friends celebrated his birthday. All of a sudden, people caught sight of a dog struggling to stay afloat in the river. The dog seems to have been in the water for some time considering how tired she looked.

That day being his special day, Castellanos wasn’t planning on standing around while the dog was struggling in the water. He grabs a life vest and heads to the nearest bridge where he can safely jump into the water. Determined to save the poor pooch, Castellanos strips down to his underpants and jumps in the water without hesitation.

As Castellanos swims towards the dog, people cheer him on, while some onlookers couldn’t help but cry, fearing for the dog’s safety. When Castellanos finally caught up with the dog, tries grabbing hold of the dog, but to its confusion, the dog turned around and bit him instead. Castellanos suffered bite marks on his face and his hand.

Yet it wasn’t enough to deter Castellanos from the task at hand. Somehow he ignores the pain and makes it to shore, pushing the dog the entire way. The dog is pulled ashore, with people cheering on Castellanos’ for his heroics.

As it turns out, the dog, whose name is Harper, managed to escape from her dog walker who got hit by a car. Confused and afraid, Harper unknowingly jumps into the East River where people thankfully spotted her struggling to swim.

Watch Gabe Castellanos’ heroic feat in the news clip below.

Source Inside Edition via Youtube

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