Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater firefighters respond to cheeps for help

CLEARWATER ­— Jessica Sargent was strolling through Glen Oaks Park on Monday when she heard the cheeping.

She followed it to a storm drain, near Court Street and S Hillcrest Avenue, where six brown and yellow ducklings were trapped inside.

"The duck was standing there squawking and the babies were just throwing a fit," said Sargent, 45, who works at a nearby accounting firm. "The holes were big enough for them to fall through, but too small for you to reach inside."

She called Clearwater Fire Station 45 at 12:30 p.m. and, within minutes, four firefighters arrived with crowbars.

A crowd gathered as Lt. Stephen Coward, Thomas Knobl, Steven Peters and David Sowers pried off the steel grating to rescue the ducklings.

"They were all so cute," Coward, 46, said. "You could tell they really wanted mom."

The firefighters grabbed three of the ducklings and placed them in a bird cage provided by an onlooker, who happened to keep one in the back of his SUV.

"I won't sleep until you get them all," Sargent said, watching.

Coward crouched inside the 2-foot-deep drain to catch the other three, who'd wandered deeper underground. Luckily, he said, it was dry.

"When we got them out, everyone was overjoyed. People clapped," he said.

Coward, who has worked as a Clearwater firefighter for 17 years, said the firehouse annually receives "a handful" of distressed animal calls. He has helped save kittens from pipes, domestic cockatiels from trees.

"The secretary who got the call yesterday asked us, 'Do you guys want to go be heroes today?' " he said.

After the 20-minute rescue, the ducklings reunited with mom and waddled into the park.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at or (727) 445-4224.

Clearwater firefighters respond to cheeps for help 02/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign


    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home


    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”