A man saved his dog before his wife after their yacht ran aground Sunday off the coast of South Africa.
Realizing he could not save his wife and his beloved 9-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Rosie simultaneously, Graham Anley decided to rescue his four-legged companion first, swimming the dog to the shore before returning to the shipwreck to assist his wife.
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"He first swam Rosie ashore safely before returning for his wife,"
National Sea Rescue Institute North London station commander Geoff McGregor said in a statement.
"As the incident happened Graham sent a Mayday radio distress call and activated the EPIRB (a GPS beacon) but they were immediately forced to abandon ship," McGregor added.
All three were wearing life jackets at the time, with Rosie wearing a specially tailored dog life jacket that had its own emergency strobe light attached, according to South Africa's News 24
While Anley was in the process of bringing his dog ashore, his wife Cheryl's safety line got caught on the steering gear, preventing her from swimming to shore by herself, according to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
Graham Anley is a longtime volunteer for the NSRI and said it was "humbling to have the shoe on the other foot and need to be rescued."
Once ashore, the couple was rescued by an EMS helicopter and taken to the NSRI's East London Sea Rescue base, according to McGregor.
The couple’s yacht, called "The Boundless," was severely damaged in the wreck.
"Efforts will be made by the couple to arrange to salvage what they can of their yacht," McGregor added.
The couple has not responded to media inquiries, requesting that all questions be fielded by the NSRI.
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