DESTIN — Charter boat Capt. Jordan Smith had never seen anything like what he saw Thursday by the Marler Bridge.
“I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff out there, but never had seen a living animal get thrown off the bridge,” Smith said.
Smith, 35, who captains the boat Profishonal with Let’s Fish Destin Charter, was passing Coast Guard Station Destin near the northwest side of the bridge in the afternoon to pick up a group for a fishing trip.
“I just saw something out of the corner of my eye. I saw some movement. Then I heard splat! Splat! I thought someone threw some trash down.”
Smith said he first thought it was an otter because he had seen them in the water in the past. But he saw two orange eyes looking at him with a look that said, “Please save me.”
He grabbed a net and scooped the black cat out of the water.
“When I took it out of the net it grabbed a hold of my arm. I held the cat all the way into the HarborWalk. It was pretty intense.”
Smith was so focused on his new feline friend that his boat hit the bridge twice during the rescue.
“Luckily, I’ve got a good boat,” he said.
When he got to the docks people gathered around him, including Nicole Manard, whom Smith said works at HarborWalk. He asked Manard if she would mind cat sitting until he finished his charter. Manard agreed and took the cat to a veterinarian.
Smith plans to contact law enforcement about the incident but he does not expect the culprit to be found.
Smith plans to pick up the cat on Friday from the vet and make her a part of his family.
When asked what he would name her, Smith replied, “I’m thinking, Miracle.”