By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A brave Dalmatian has touched hearts online after dramatic footage emerged of his heroic rescue by the army from catastrophic floods.
The harrowing clip shows young couple Brady and Lily Ellis, both 28, undergoing a desperate evacuation from their flood-ravaged home in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, yesterday afternoon [FEB 4].
While the young couple deemed themselves fit to wade through the armpit-deep floodwaters, they decided it was safer that their Dalmatian Axl, 5, be ferried to dry land in a kayak with the help of the army.
They said the decision to pop their pooch on a kayak instead of letting him paddle alongside them stemmed from the horrifying reports of crocodiles being spotted swimming in floodwaters around residential areas.
Devastating floods have ravaged most of Far North Queensland for over a week, with the catastrophic event being called the worst flood in the region’s living history.
The disaster has since claimed two lives after it was reported that two unidentified bodies had been found in a storm water drain in the flooding disaster zone in Townsville on Tuesday afternoon [FEB 5].
Brady said: “From Saturday afternoon, we started getting an influx of water into our street that just started gradually rising.
“We sandbagged our home but decided to wait upstairs on the second level of our townhouse. We thought we would be okay up there.
“We spent the night without power, phone coverage or internet connection. It was just getting worse and worse.
“It was crazy. Then the army came past yesterday afternoon and told us that we should leave because they were not sure how much higher the water was going to go.
“We started thinking it might hit the second story of our house. So, we knew we had to leave.
“It was a gradual process. It was like one of the scenes out of the movie Titanic where the water starts to creep into the rooms.
“The water itself was just brown and disgusting. You couldn’t see what’s in it.
“The army men asked us if we could swim, and we told them we could. They had a kayak, and we decided to put Axl on there.
“I knew he wouldn’t want to swim all that way.
“There have been sightings of crocodiles around town so he would have been a delicious meal for one of them.”
The incredible footage of Axl’s rescue has been viewed over 65,000 times in a matter of hours.
Brady said the floodwaters reached 1.2m [4ft] inside his house, while his street was submerged by 1.8m [6ft] of water.
But luckily, the couple and the army men managed to stay on the footpath which allowed them to keep their heads above water.
The region has seen hundreds of people evacuated and thousands of homes submerged by water.
Brady said: “Axl knew something was going on when he got the exclusive treatment of being allowed upstairs in our bedroom with us. We never usually allow that.
“He was brave. He was shaking a bit and freaking out, but he took it all very well.
“We spoke to him the whole time when he was being ferried across which I think kept him calm. He was very happy when we got on dry land though.
“Once we reached dry land, we walked through the city. It had been completely abandoned, which was an eerie feeling.
“We stayed at a friend’s house last night, but now we are in a hotel.
“There is not much we can do but wait and see. It will be a difficult clean up, that’s for sure.
“No one ever things they will be in a situation like this, so it’s quite terrifying.
“But the main thing is that our little family is okay. We can worry about everything else later.”