Two people who were just heading to move into their new home Sunday spotted a family of 11 ducklings waddling down the side of the road, said Jeff Brown with Skagit County Search and Rescue.
The two people, worried the nearly dozen ducklings would be hit by a car, stopped to help, only to watch the ducklings fall one by one like lemmings through a storm grate and into a large drain system, Brown said.
They called police for help and eventually two firefighters from a nearby station arrived and were able to save two of the ducklings, but the other nine were lost to the drain system.
However, about two hours later, the original two residents came back to the fire house stating they could hear more ducklings in a drain farther down the system. Firefighters returned to the scene, this time armed with what Brown termed their "duckling rescue device": a bucket "duck-taped" to a pike pole.
The firefighters were able to rescue the remaining nine ducklings and the two residents volunteered to drive them the 45 minute ride to a wildlife rescue center in Arlington.
"Thanks to their diligence and selflessness, an entire family of ducklings was saved from nearly certain peril," Brown said.