It was an absolutely terrifying moment for Heidi the German Shepherd when she was simply on a boat with her owner in Moreton Bay, Australia, and then the vessel suddenly started to take on water and eventually sank. It’s often said that a dog is a man’s best friend, and that’s something that Heidi has definitely proven. After she was rescued, she helped police officers to find her owner and get him to safety as well.
What makes this even more spectacular, is that the German Shepherd was treading water for no less than eleven hours!
She was found swimming near a couple of items from the ship, including a wetsuit, tackle box, and even a fuel tank. Luckily, a fisherman was able to spot the pooch very early in the morning, and he immediately notified the authorities to get this pup out of the water. Heidi was drifting around for an incredibly long time, and it’s amazing that she was able to survive for so long.
After the fisherman found her, Heidi was quickly rescued and brought to dry grounds at the Manly Boat Harbour. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service then took care of her.
Of course, the work wasn’t done, because they knew that Heidi’s owner was still out there somewhere at sea.
The German Shepherd was then taken to a veterinarian for a large check-up, but luckily she didn’t suffer from any severe injuries and will be making a full recovery.
The Brisbane Water Police immediately stepped in and began a large rescue operation for the man about an hour and a half after Heidi was spotted drifting. The police employed a Rescue 500 helicopter, a jet ski as well as four additional police vessels. Marine Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue were assisting during the rescue.
As the search progressed, police started fearing the worst.
They encountered more floating items from the boat, and they indicated that something very bad was going on. Luckily, the man was found eventually after three hours of searching. The 63-year-old man was clinging to a piece of the vessel, trying to survive until help arrived.
According to the boat owner, the vessel lost power and then started to take on water.
After fifteen hours of drifting in the water, the man was immediately transported to the hospital. Luckily, just like his loyal and brave four-footer, he didn’t suffer from any severe injuries and will be doing fine.
In the meantime, Sergeant Jay Bairstow from the Brisbane Water Police took care of Heidi and treated her with some much-needed rest and delicious treats. He also wanted to share some wise words for people going on the water.
“We would take this opportunity to remind boaties to plan for the worst when they’re out on the water,” Senior Sergeant Bairstow said. “Always wear personal flotation device and ensure that your safety equipment, including EPIRBs, are tested and in good order,” he added.
Luckily, all’s well that ends well.
“Thankfully there was a happy ending to this search and Heidi was able to be our honorary PD for the day.”
What an amazing rescue!
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Source: ABC7, WHDH, Queensland Police Service