Border Collie, Who Fell into Raging Floodwaters During Helicopter Rescue, Reunites With Family Days Later
A border collie named DJ who fell into raging floodwaters while his owner was being rescued last week is now back with his family after somehow surviving three days alone on the flooded coast of Australia.
Mark O'Toole, his family, and their neighbor were rescued from the roof of their house in New South Wales on Feb. 28 by a helicopter as the severe flooding threatened to swallow the structure, ABC News reports. The Australian Defense Force were able to save the humans in a dramatic rescue—on live TV no less—but DJ fell into the water.
"I tried to grab him but ripped a chunk of his hair out and he disappeared under the house," O'Toole told ABC.
They feared DJ was gone forever, but O'Toole didn't give up. With the help of a social media campaign to find DJ, a local volunteer, a boat, and a jet ski, he found DJ again three days later. It took about six hours after a neighbor had spotted DJ in the area, and at one point O'Toole was worried he'd been wasting his helpers' time.
He was up to his chest in water when he looked to his right. There was DJ, sitting atop a pile of metal that was likely a shed, O'Toole told the news outlet. The best moment, however, came when he brought DJ back to his daughters in the city of Lismore.
"I broke down when we were at the house seeing everything gone, especially my kids' things," he told ABC News. "But then when we found the dog I thought, 'Who cares?' You couldn't wish for anything better."
Even better? O'Toole's rescue party rescued 10 other dogs and six cats on their expedition.