Christopher Burns’ two dogs, Saint and Tacoma, loved to go out on the boat with him. One day he decided to take them out on Lake Bisteneau. Their peaceful trip would take a turn for the worst.
15. A Peaceful Day Out
Christopher Burns, 35, of Bossier Parish, Louisiana was having a nice day out on Lake Bisteneau. His two dogs, 4-year old Saint and 7-year-old Tacoma, were along for the ride and it was shaping up to be a nice day out on the water. Suddenly, his boat began taking on water.
14. Taking on Water
Speaking to The Shreveport Times, he told the newspaper that he made a simple left and then the boat began taking on water almost instantly. “It was within two to three seconds, the boat was completely under water. It was just a left-hand turn, nothing that I hadn’t done a hundred times.”
13. Going Down
Christopher quickly realized they were sinking and fast. The boat was going to be in the water soon and he had to act quickly. A seasoned boater, he was wearing his lifejacket. Now he had to think about his dogs’ safety. Ironically, he said that he had taken this trip on the boat because the dogs liked being on the water so much…now they were about to be in it!
12. Not Much Time
He needed to act quickly or the boat would be completely underwater. It wasn’t enough to hope the dogs would swim to shore with him. The boat was too far from the shore and the swim would likely exhaust them. There had to be another solution.
5. Panic Sets In
His dogs were showing signs of panic and he didn’t need to think twice: he chose to save his dogs. They were everything, man’s best friend, and he would do anything for them. He grabbed both of them while standing on the tip of the boat.
6. Saving His Dogs
The boat sank into the water but the dogs were safe in his arms. Now he needed to get them all to shore safely. One dog under each arm, he pulled out his phone and quickly called 911. But the connection didn’t work. They were also 400 yards from shore.
7. Can’t Connect
He got through on the second try but the dispatcher was unable to hear him. The call was disconnected. He needed help but the dispatcher didn’t have a way to pinpoint his location. However, the dispatcher, Alison Green, wasn’t about to give up.
8. Reaching Out
She tried to reconnect with Burns and finally reached him. He was so grateful that she had reached out and he quickly let her know about their situation. She assured him help was coming and they were trying everything they could. Burns felt better when he heard that — they would be okay.
9. Help on the Way
Burns kept calm by remembering his faith. Green said that help should arrive in 20 minutes but unfortunately, since he was out of the way, it took a bit longer. Then Deputy Duane Washington and Sgt. Tim Wynn stepped in. They were dispatched to Burns’ camp at Elm Grove. There was a problem though: he was in the water and they needed to get to him quick.
10. A Good Samaritan
Marine patrol was still an hour or so away from Burns so the officers on land began knocking on doors to see if anyone could help. They were led to the right person: Burns’ neighbor, Thomas Murphee.
5. Murphee Knew the Location
Murphee had a pontoon boat and knew the area well. The perfect rescuer had fallen right into their lap. All of them raced to their destination to save the man and his beloved dogs. Burns had mentioned a “Christmas tree” as a marker and they knew exactly what that was: a cypress tree sticking out of the water with decorations.
4. Keeping the Dogs Above Water
Burns had continued to keep his dogs’ heads above water the best he could but was losing strength. Once help arrived, he told them to take his dogs first since he had on a life jacket and they agreed. Saint and Tacoma were safe!
3. Get the Dogs
When they pulled up to rescue him, Burns’ first words were “Get the dogs,” said police. Luckily, all three were rescued thanks to the work of several local heroes.
The whole rescue was caught on video by an officer’s body cam and shared to YouTube. Burns and his wife later did an interview with the local sheriff’s department and thanked them for their quick thinking.
1. Happy Ending
The dogs recovered from their ordeal fine. We don’t know why Burns’ boat took on water and sank that day, but one thing he knows for sure is that there are heroes who had a hand in the rescue.