A dog has been hailed as a hero after helping save her owner when his boat sank off the coast of Queensland.
A passing fisherman noticed Heidi the German Shepherd swimming in Moreton Bay amid boat wreckage like a gasoline tank, tackle box, and wetsuit.
Authorities were alerted by the fishermen, and they initiated a search and rescue operation to find Heidi’s owner right away.
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 used in the operation by Queensland Police, who hauled out the heavy guns.
They ultimately discovered Heidi’s owner hanging onto his capsized 4.1-meter boat.
The 63-year-old was towed to safety and told the authorities how his boat lost power the previous night and began taking in water.
Amazingly, he remained in the water for 15 hours while treading water and waiting for help to arrive.
He stated that Heidi would have spent up to 11 hours swimming in the dark in search of assistance.
Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow from Brisbane Water said: “We would take this opportunity to remind boaties to plan for the worst when they’re out on the water.
“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.”
When Heidi was removed from the water, the vet examined her and gave her a clear report on her health.
After nearly a half-day of paddling, she was given some food and had some much-needed rest while waiting for her owner to arrive.
The cherry on top was that Heidi was designated as an honorary police dog by Queensland Police for the day.
It’s simply another example of how true it is that dogs are a human’s best friend.