Heidi, a German Shepherd, was seen swimming in Moreton Bay by a fisherman who was just passing by. She was swimming among the debris of a boat, which included a fuel tank, a tackle box, and a wetsuit.
The fisherman immediately reported the situation to the authorities, and the authorities immediately began a search and rescue effort to locate Heidi’s owner.
The heavy weapons were brought out by Queensland Police, who also employed the Rescue 500 helicopter, four police boats, a jet ski from Marine Safety Queensland, the Volunteer Marine Coast Guard, and the Volunteer Marine Rescue in the operation.
In the end, they found Heidi’s owner clinging to the overturned 4.1-meter yacht that belonged to him.
The man, who was 63 years old, was dragged to safety and then described to the police how his boat had lost power the previous evening and started taking on water.
Unbelievably, he was able to survive in the water for a period of fifteen hours by treading water and waited for assistance to come.
He estimated that Heidi would have swum for up to 11 hours in the dark before she found someone to help her.
“We would use this opportunity to remind everyone to prepare for the worst when they are out on the water,” Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow with Brisbane Water said.
“At all times, you must wear a personal flotation device, and you must check that all of your safety equipment, including EPIRBs, is in working condition and has been tested.
“This hunt finally came to a successful conclusion, and Heidi was able to serve as our honorary police chief for the day,” the author writes.
After being extracted from the water, Heidi was inspected by the veterinarian, who provided her with an accurate assessment of her current state of wellbeing.
She had been paddling for close to a half day when she was finally given some food and allowed to get some much-needed rest while her owner was still late arriving.
The icing on the cake came when Queensland Police appointed Heidi, for the duration of the day, to the position of honorary police dog.
It’s just one more thing that goes to show how accurate the old adage is that dogs are a man’s best friend.