DOT workers rescue cat flung over North Carolina bridge

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Bridger Catfish Newman is a lucky kitten (WTVD)

Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty! Three underwater inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Transportation rescued a small kitten after it was thrown off the Old Mans Harbor Bridge in Manteo on Thursday.

The kitten was quickly grabbed out of the water and rushed to a nearby veterinarian.


Billy Cox, Ben Presgrave, and Reece Newman were prepping on their boat Wednesday morning when they noticed something was wrong. Somebody threw a kitten off the Old Manns Harbor Bridge over the Croatan Sound.

"Looked like a drowned rat," Presgrave said. "We wrapped him up in a blanket and dried him off as best we could and took him to the vet."

"We weren't really sure what it was in the beginning and a couple minutes later we saw something trying to swim in the water," Newman explained.

"We went into rescue mode at that point and everything changed," Cox shared.

After rescuing the kitten and taking him to the vet, Newman paid for the kitten's bills and appropriately named him Bridger Catfish Newman.

"'Bridger' because he came off a bridge. 'Catfish' because he was swimming like a fish, and he's a cat. And we got him on the boat and he's part of the Newman family now," Newman laughed.

The name they chose is certainly unique, and that's why is won out over the others up for consideration.

"Splash. A lot of Luckys. Flipper. Lucky. Chance. Evil Kenivel," Newman said. "We've heard a little bit of everything."

Combined, this group of guys has been doing this kind of work for more than 40 years and have never seen anything quite like this.

"This time of year we're seeing snakes and alligators from working in the swamps," Presgrave said.

It was certainly a day they'll never forget...and neither will Bridger.

"It was worth it. Well worth it," Newman shared.

After getting a clean bill of health, Newman adopted Bridger Catfish.

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