News24

Mom nearly drowns saving dog

2011-10-17 10:14

Johannesburg - A Potchefstroom woman thought she was going to drown when she tried to save the family dog from a water canal near their home on Friday afternoon and got caught in a whirlpool.

“I wanted to exhale before the current took me so that I could die quickly,” said Gretha Joubert.

Joubert explained how she found Rex, a German Shepherd, in the canal after he ran out of the yard. He was treading water in a whirlpool under a cement slab. Behind him was a whirlpool leading to an underground tunnel.

Holding on

“I held onto the cement slab and wanted to stand on the canal floor to pull Rex out,” said Joubert.

“When I put my foot down, the water grabbed me. I was still clinging to the slab. Rex lay down on my thighs.”

Joubert’s daughter, Carlinke, 14, who was with her mother, called her father, Professor Pieter Joubert. He immediately called his friend and police diver, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Rautenbach. When Rautenbach called his colleagues, Warrant Officer William Erasmus and Warrant Officer Ronald Lacock, they were just driving into Potchefstroom.

“The timing was just too coincidental to be coincidental,” said Professor Joubert.

Meanwhile, Carlinke – a strong rhythmic gymnast – held on to her mother’s hands after they slipped from the slab.

The slender Carlinke recently won a silver medal in rhythmic gymnastics at the South African championships. When she could no longer hold her mother’s hands and had to let go, her mother thought it was the end. The exhausted Rex pushed himself against his owner’s body.

“I felt guilty because I knew Carlinke would always feel she couldn’t save me,” said Joubert.

“I exhaled before the whirlpool could take me, but when I let go, I kicked out and anchored myself.”

Miracle


Lacock and Erasmus arrived shortly afterwards. They had to make a noose for Joubert’s wrist because she was already too weak to hold onto a rope. Lacock lay on the cement slab and pulled Rex out. He, Erasmus and Professor Kobus van der Walt, a friend of the Jouberts, pulled Joubert out by the rope. Her clothes had been torn from her body by the water. Rex’s nails were worn down by the struggle in the canal.

Experienced police diver Rautenbach said they had to remove a boy’s body a little further on in the same canal two years ago.

He described Joubert’s rescue as a miracle.

Tears flowed freely after the rescue on Friday.

“It is the first time in two years that I am present when someone is pulled out of the water alive,” said Erasmus.
 

Comments
  • Shellerjc - 2011-10-17 10:24

    I would do the same for my dogs - They look after me and protect me, they out their lives on the line for me, I will do the same for them.

      Ann - 2011-10-17 11:12

      Animals are awesome - and people that care about them are just as awesome! @ Lehlohonolo - you are VERY rude!!! I would save an animal long before I save someone like you ...

      Ann - 2011-10-17 12:07

      WHAT A STUNNING LOOKING DOG! HE IS MOST CERTAINLY WORTH SAVING!!!

      ggasseler - 2011-10-17 12:39

      But do that rescue with expertise. If you dont, you will lose both the dog and your life.

  • Colline - 2011-10-17 10:27

    awesome feel good story for a change.

  • IAmTheDarkPrince - 2011-10-17 10:29

    Heartwarming :)

  • adrian.breda - 2011-10-17 11:05

    My dog is a strong swimmer, I would of encouraged her to swim to me as hard as she can

  • Sam.Ancy - 2011-10-17 11:14

    Shoo.. got a little choked up with that one. I'd also risk my life for my dogs.

  • Rosalind - 2011-10-17 11:16

    I think another journo should have covered this article."He was treading water in a whirlpool under a cement slab", The dog was under a cement slab? Other than silly mistakes, what a heart warming story. I would have done the same! The the stupid woman Lehlohonolo, rather keep your silly comments to yourself. Dogs are not useles things!

  • Shellerjc - 2011-10-17 11:29

    cant believe how something so pure and heartwarming is being turned into a racial debate.

  • Marlizette - 2011-10-17 11:34

    If I were in the same position I wouldn't hesitate to do the same for one second! I love my dogs very much and would be heartbroken if anything happened to them

  • Louise.vanderbijl - 2011-10-17 11:36

    :D lovely to have some good news amongst all the bad :) Hope Rex and Gertha are recovering well

  • tracey.badenhorst - 2011-10-17 11:56

    For the love of my animals I would have done the same.

  • Debbi - 2011-10-17 12:22

    Well done to mother and daughter - good to see that there are still people who care as deeply about their animals as this family obviously do. I would not hesitate to do the same should it happen to any of my dogs/cats - they are my children after all.

  • Cayle - 2011-10-17 12:35

    What no racial comments? lol

      Debbi - 2011-10-17 12:52

      You got here too late Cayle, they've already been removed. ;0)

      sandimzilikazi - 2011-10-17 13:51

      hahahahaha

  • Melinda - 2011-10-17 12:55

    @ Lehlohonolo - YOU SEE ON ANIMAL DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANOTHER YOU PRICK. I WOULD DO THE SAME IF IT WAS ONE OF MINE. BUT THEN AGAIN A P LIKE YOU DID NOT GET ENOUGH LOVE WHEN YOU WHERE A LITTLE KID OR MAYBE A DOG BIT YOU AFTER STEALING SOMEONE'S BIKE !!!!

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2011-10-17 13:58

    They both deserve medals for bravery, She for going in to help him and he in turn helping her. Very Brave woman, and I would do the same for my dogs.

  • theunisia - 2011-10-17 16:00

    You guys are hero`s in my books............Rex`s bond will even be stronger from now on, they know! All the best for the future!

  • Sharon - 2011-10-17 17:35

    Such a beautiful story! I adore animals and animal people - just don't get those who don't understand how one can love an animal as much as another human (if not more). Sad for them & their loss I suppose!

  • aardvarkie - 2011-11-25 10:29

    Well done to the heroic family and cops, great to read an article that shows there's compassion left in the world.

  • marion.kellerman - 2011-11-25 10:35

    I salute you for your bravery!! I would have done the same for my beloved animals. You are safe because you are blessed by the angels.. xx Mellibelli

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