Australian man needs rescuing from river trying to save his dog

by Leanne Thompson on April 17, 2009

irish-setterA dog owner in Australia jumped into the river to rescue his dog, an Irish setter, and then needed rescuing himself. Both the man and the dog had to be rescued by rescue teams.

The 45kg dog became stranded on a rock in the middle of a fast flowing river, in northeastern Australia. The river was below the wall of a dam, about 200 metres down. The dog’s owner, a twenty-two-year-old man, swam to rescue the dog, but he too became stranded.

Authorities were notified by the man’s wife, but they also deemed the river too treacherous to attempt a rescue, so sent food and blankets across so the pair could wait out the rising river. The man and his dog waited for several hours on the rock, in the middle of the river by Burdekin Falls dam.

Eventually the man and his dog were rescued by helicopter, when the Townsville Emergency Management Queensland helicopter crew winched both of the adventurous travellers to safety.

One of the crew members, Peter Elliott, explained how calm the dog was about being winched to safety in a specially fashioned harness.

I was worried that the dog might get upset when we were hanging 100 feet off the ground, but he was well behaved.

He was loving it, he was acting like he was on the back of a ute. As soon as the rotor wash went up he was smiling and sniffing the air like dogs do when they stick their face out the window in the car.

The dog’s owner hasn’t been made, but Peter Elliot did have one thing to say about him:

He obviously loves his dog.

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