Dog treading water for 11 hours leads police to unlikely discovery

An unlikely discovery early this morning led to a swift rescue operation conducted by police who saved both a dog and her owner.

Around 6am on Thursday, a German Shepherd named Heidi was spotted by a fisherman while she was swimming among other items such as a fuel tank, tackle box and a wetsuit in Moreton Bay, according to Queensland Police.

Heidi and the items were quickly scooped up and taken to Manly Boat Harbour and from there, Heidi was then taken to a vet for a check-up.

The skipper was treading water for over 15 hours until he was rescued. Source: Queensland Police

The Brisbane Water Police were then alerted about 7.25am that a boat that may have got into trouble as they could not locate the owner of the dog.

“During the search operation a number of items were located indicating that a boat had gotten into trouble, with rescuers fearing the worst,” Queensland Police said in a statement.

“Finally at around 10.25am the skipper was spotted clinging to a sunken 4.1-metre vessel near the Brisbane boat passage, Moreton Bay.”

The 63-year-old skipper told police he ran into trouble out at sea the night before, when his boat lost power and began to take on water.

Heidi, his dog, was treading water for 11 hours until the fisherman spotted her, while the skipper drifted in the Moreton Bay area for almost 15 hours.

The man was taken to hospital, and Queensland Police said he and his dog were not seriously injured.

Heidi was treated to some food and rest in an air-conditioned office “until her human returned”.

Heidi and her owner were both saved, neither were severely injured. Source: Queensland Police

“We would take this opportunity to remind boaties to plan for the worst when they’re out on the water,” Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow from Brisbane Water police said.

“Always wear personal flotation device and ensure that your safety equipment, including EPIRBs, are tested and in good order.”

“Thankfully there was a happy ending to this search and Heidi was able to be our honorary PD for the day.”

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