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Shipwrecked Man Saves Dog First, Then Goes Back for Wife

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Who would you save first in a shipwreck? This dog lover saved his dog first, then went back for his wife – and we don’t blame him for it! Photo: Graham Anley Facebook.

An East London family is alive and well thanks to the quick action of Graham Anley, who swam his wife, Cheryl, and their 9-year-old Jack Jussell Terrier, Rosie, to safety after their yacht began taking on water early Sunday morning. Graham, however, might be spending a little time in the doghouse since he chose to save Rosie first!

The couple’s yacht, called The Boundless, ran aground in the very early morning hours on Sunday, reportedly after striking a reef near the East London coast.

Anley, a volunteer for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), helped his dog, Rosie, who was outfitted with a custom life vest with an emergency strobe light, to shore before returning to assist his wife. Meanwhile, Cheryl’s safety line had become snagged on the ship’s steering gear.

The NSRI dispatched a helicopter to rescue the shipwrecked family.

The couple and their dog are all safe and doing well. The ship, however, suffered major damage.

Anley told News24 that after 22 years as a volunteer for the NSRI it is “humbling to have the shoe on the other foot and need to be rescued.”

If you were in a shipwreck, who would you rescue first – your spouse or your dog?

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  2. Avatar Of Judy Hartley

    Judy Hartley


    The dog first; our animals are totally dependent on we humans for their care and safety and might well have felt abandoned in a frightening situation whereas the wife knew land and safety were ahead.

  3. Avatar Of Tina Max tina max says:

    that picture of the man and his dog has got to be the cutest picture, just look at the dog’s face, priceless. I don’t blame him for rescuing the dog first, bet his wife is not as cute, lol.

  4. Exactly. I would have saved my dog first without giving it a second thought!

  5. Avatar Of Janet Locke

    Janet Locke


    At first I thought the article SHOULD say, “The couple and their dog are all safe and doing well. The MARRIAGE, however, suffered major damage.” However, if the yacht ran aground, it wasn’t likely to sink. The couple was smart to get the dog ashore first as he might freak out if he thought he was being abandoned with the yacht, whereas the wife would know for sure her husband would return for her.

  6. Dog first. He did not choose to be in a dangerous situation. The humans did.

  7. Avatar Of Kirsten Kirsten says:

    I have larger dogs that swim well. It would depend on whether one or more of the four dogs or my hubby were in distress. Whoever needed to go first would. But I’d use the last breath in my body to get everyone to safety. And if it were my husband who had to decide, get the dogs then me.

  8. Avatar Of D Plummer

    D Plummer


    She should have had her vest on and been able to swim on her own. Doesn’t say she was snagged till later. Definitely dogs first. If my husband took me 1st and we lost one or both dogs – probably divorce city. They are our kids, after all.

  9. Avatar Of June Walsh june walsh says:

    the dog was small and had a life jacket on with a beacon,so tie him to you,get your wife and all go at the same time.A large dog might even help pull you to shore.

  10. Avatar Of Stacy Pascal

    Stacy Pascal


    My puppy, of course. Worse case scenario you’ll get a chunk of life insurance money. Mwahahahaha

  11. Avatar Of Susan



    If I knew or thought my husband would be ok till I got back to get him, I would save my dogs first. If it was life or death I would choose my husband.

  12. Avatar Of Kathleen Kaska

    Kathleen Kaska


    Dog first; my husband would never forgive me if I saved him first.

  13. Avatar Of Juliann Valencia

    Juliann Valencia


    Way to go. I would save my dog first too.

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