Alfonse Attard, 75, and his first-mate Jack—a jack russell terrier—went fishing the morning of Jan. 5, 2016, and thought it was going to be a day like any other day. However, things dramatically changed at around 6:30 a.m. Their boat, located a little over a half-mile from the shore of Altona Beach (in Victoria, Australia), started to leak. In just a few minutes, the boat was under water and had capsized.
Not knowing how to react, Attard initially clung to the capsized boat. Fortunately, there was a pair of fishermen nearby, Laurie Borg and his son Trevor. These two saw Attard clinging to the capsized boat and took action by boarding another boat to rescue Attard.
The Borgs rescued Alfonse and brought him back to shore. This is when Attard realized that Jack, his beloved dog was missing. The dog had been left behind during the rescue. Jack is 18 years old and Alfonse was afraid his dog might have drowned.
Volunteers and water police took over 2 hours to pull the wreckage of the capsized boat to shore. Once the boat was pulled from the water, Jack was found in the front nose of the boat. Attard cried with joy that his beloved first mate, Jack, was found alive and well.
Laurie and Trevor Borg were also happy that both the skipper and first mate where both safely ashore and reunited.
Everyone was astonished that Jack survived. It was presumed that he had been treading water for at least two hours and then must have found a pocket of air in the nose of the capsized boat. Alfonse was very thankful. The skipper stated that Jack goes with him everywhere.
The leak in the boat was most likely caused by a loose plug. Although this was a very frightening experience for all involved, Alfonse is not ready to give up fishing. This 75-year-old fisherman fishes off the coast of Altona at least 2 to 3 times per week. At the time of this incident Attard said, “Maybe I’ll go out tomorrow, in another boat.”