Hero dog saves man's life
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 6:36p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
It could almost be an episode of Lassie - someone in danger, and a dog to the rescue.
A man stuck in a muddy Auckland estuary for eight hours was saved from the incoming tide thanks to some persistent barking.
Muddied police retrieved the man by stretcher from the Tamaki Estuary last night.
Today the officer who found him said after eight hours stuck face down in the mud he was a lucky to be alive.
"If he'd been left there without being discovered last night he either would have succumbed to hypothermia or the tide would have come in and we may have been looking at a very, very different story," says Constable Dylan Hannah-Jones.
Witnesses remembered seeing a man drinking on the water front.
"We just saw a Polynesian, Maori man sitting there by himself with a box full of alcohol, and it looked like he was heartbroken," says witness Val Katoa.
The 40 year-old from Panmure then decided to do a spot of fishing from a nearby wharf.
"He told police he'd been trying to cast, but instead threw his whole rod into the water. He went in to retrieve it, and that's when he got into trouble.
"The mud was about shin deep and like glue, so it was extremely difficult for anyone to move," says Mr Hannah-Jones.
"It could have been his level of intoxication."
Stuck fast he shouted for help, Baxter the Standard Schnauzer heard him - his barking roused his owner, who called the police.
It took six people to drag him to safety. He was hospitalised with suspected hypothermia, but discharged a few hours later.
He says he has one person in particular he wants to thank.
"He wants to thank the dog profusely," says Mr Hannah-Jones.
His rod was lost to the tide, but thanks to Baxter, his life wasn't.
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29/08/2012 8:59:54 a.m.
Truly a man's best friend. I hope he ws given lots of hugs and a nice piece os steak. He deserves an award
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