A MAN and his dog have been reunited after their boat lost power and took on water in Moreton Bay overnight, leading to a terrifying 15 hour ordeal at sea.
The dog, a German Shepherd called Heidi, was rescued when fishermen found her treading water alongside other floating items including a fuel tank, tackle box and wet suit about 6am on Thursday.
She was taken back to shore along with the items and handed over to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, before being transported to the vet for a check-up.
Water Police were notified of the discovery and launched a full scale rescue operation at 7.25am, with the Rescue 500 helicopter, four police vessels, a jet ski, volunteer marine rescue and coast guard called into action.
Rescuers feared the worst when they saw more items floating in the water but found the 63-year-old skipper clinging to his half sunken vessel near the Brisbane boat passage at Moreton Bay about 10.25am.
It was later revealed that the man had been drifting in the bay for 15 hours and his dog treading water for about 11 hours before she was pulled from the water by passing fishermen.
The skipper was taken to hospital but police said he was found not to have sustained any significant injuries.
Brisbane Water Police senior sergeant Jay Bairstow said Heidi was given some food and a rest before being reunited with her owner.
"We would take this opportunity to remind boaties to plan for the worst when they're out on the water," he said.
"Always wear personal flotation device and ensure that your safety equipment, including EPIRBs, are tested and in good order.
"Thankfully there was a happy ending to this search and Heidi was able to be our honorary PD for the day."
The incident comes three weeks on from the rescue of a small wallaby dubbed 'Dawny', who was found paddling more than 6 kilometres off the coast of North Stradbroke Island.
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