The owner of a boat that sank off the coast of Queensland was rescued thanks to his heroic dog.
A fisherman passing by in Moreton Bay spotted Heidi, a German Shepherd, swimming amidst boat debris like a gas tank, tackle box, and wetsuit.
The fisherman alerted the authorities, who immediately started a search and rescue mission to find Heidi’s owner.
The Rescue 500 helicopter, four police boats, a jet ski from Marine Safety Queensland, the Volunteer Marine Coast Guard, and the Volunteer Marine Rescue were all utilized in the operation by Queensland Police.
They finally located the owner of Heidi, who was holding onto his capsized 4.1-meter boat.
The 63-year-old man was rescued and he informed the authorities that his boat had lost power the night before and started taking in water. Remarkably, he spent 15 hours in the water while keeping himself afloat and waiting for help. He also mentioned that his dog Heidi had spent almost 11 hours swimming in the dark to seek help.
Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow from Brisbane Water advised, “It is important to plan for emergencies when boating. Wearing a personal flotation device and checking safety equipment such as EPIRBs should always be a priority.
“We are grateful for the successful outcome of the search and are thankful for Heidi’s assistance in being our honorary PD for the day.”
Upon Heidi’s retrieval from the water, the veterinarian assessed her condition and provided a positive health evaluation.
Following an extensive session of paddling lasting almost twelve hours, Heidi was provided with nourishment and granted a much-needed respite while awaiting her proprietor’s arrival.
As an additional surprise, Queensland Police appointed Heidi as an honorary police dog for the day, further illustrating the fact that dogs are indeed man’s best friend.