Dog Found Alive 3 Days After Fatal Boat Crash

Dog rescued three days after boat crash

Two men and two dogs were in a boat sailing into Tamales Bay in Northern California on Monday when it capsized in the rough surf. One man and one dog were rescued, but Brian Phidat Ho, 47, was killed. The other dog, a yellow Lab named Yoda, disappeared and had presumably drowned.

This morning, three days after the accident, Marin County Fire Battalion Chiefs Chris Martinelli and Graham Groneman were scouting locations for a water rescue orientation for firefighters. They spotted something from their rescue boat — a yellow object on a rocky shore north of where the boat had capsized.

It was Yoda.

“They were hugging the coastline when they saw the dog hunkered down under a rocky outcropping,” Battalion Chief Bret McTigue said. “They went on shore and put a lifejacket on him. He was wet and shivering after a few days out in the elements.”

Despite his ordeal, Yoda was alive and well, and appeared to be uninjured. He was taken to the Tamales Fire Station, where he warmed up by the fireplace while being given food and water.

“We called the family and we happened to reach them during the funeral,” McTigue said. “We gave them the update and they were able to make the announcement about the dog at the funeral, which was nice.”

Nice, indeed. And how nice that those two Marin County Fire battalion chiefs just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Last year, a German Shepherd/Husky mix named Luna was found five weeks after she jumped off a boat. Luna had managed to swim two miles to an island used by the Navy.

Photo credit: Marin County Fire Department

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!