SAFE AND HOUND: Stubby the sea dog spent a night at sea on a jet ski.
SAFE AND HOUND: Stubby the sea dog spent a night at sea on a jet ski. Craig Warhurst

REVEALED: How a fisho and his dog got lost on a jet ski

STUBBY the brindle staffy who was "lost” and spent the night floating on a jet ski in open ocean with best mate Glen Watson is ready to go back to sea.

The inseparable pair was back at the Bundaberg Port yesterday and retold their jet ski adventure that, aptly, started on Black Friday.

Mr Watson said he wanted to clear up some misinformation that he and Stubby were heading to Lady Elliot Island on his ski.

The trawler captain says that wasn't true and things went awry while heading back to his trawler, which he had left at sea on Friday, after going to get oil for it.

"I anchored 29 nautical miles north-east of Bundy ... I've never even been to Lady Elliot,” Mr Watson said.

"I needed engine oil and was hoping to be back (to the trawler) that afternoon.”

FISHERMAN'S FRIEND: Stubby the staffy and owner Glen Watson were rescued from a jet ski.
FISHERMAN'S FRIEND: Stubby the staffy and owner Glen Watson were rescued from a jet ski. Craig Warhurst

The ski trip to the port took more than three-and-a-half hours.

"I could have got there faster but I had to hang on to my boy,” Mr Watson said.

After arriving late Mr Watson said he couldn't secure more fuel for the jet ski's return trip and spent the night at Burnett Heads.

He relayed a message to his deckhand and prepared to return the next day.

Mr Watson and Stubby didn't leave Burnett Heads until after lunch. Guided by a simple compass and Mr Watson's lifetime knowledge of the ocean the pair headed back to sea.

But the weather had turned bad and Mr Watson said he and Stubby were "getting airborne” before they exited the port's rock wall.

SLEEPING ROUGH: Stubby was
SLEEPING ROUGH: Stubby was "a little stressed but okay” during the ordeal. Craig Warhurst

At sea they endured 20-knot winds and a 1.5-2m swell. Going was slow, wet and uncomfortable.

"I never had a dry eye,” Mr Watson said.

"Every time I opened my eyes the salt spray made them sorer.

"Stubby was a little stressed but okay.”

Before long it was dark but Mr Watson wasn't concerned.

He knew where the boat was anchored and was looking for its lights.

What he didn't know was there had trouble with the trawler's power supply and the lights had gone out.

At the same time, his deckhand, worried about Mr Watson, had called for help and police had taken him from the trawler.

SEA DOG: Stubby the brindle staffy.
SEA DOG: Stubby the brindle staffy. Craig Warhurst

After first motoring up to another trawler but being unable to raise the captain and then chasing another set of boat lights to no avail, Mr Watson decided to conserve fuel.

He turned the engine off and waited with Stubby until daylight to continue the search for his trawler.

During that time Mr Watson had received a call from his brother on his mobile phone telling him to set off his EPIRB. The phone was in the ski's watertight compartment but Mr Watson hadn't been checking it regularly for fear of "drowning it” in the rough conditions.

It wasn't long after a plane circled over head and rescuers came for the pair.

"I wasn't lost and I wasn't scared,” Mr Watson said.

"I had water, I had flares, I had fuel and at daylight I could see land.”

BACK TO WORK: Glen Watson and Stubby were yesterday getting ready to head back out to sea again.
BACK TO WORK: Glen Watson and Stubby were yesterday getting ready to head back out to sea again. Craig Warhurst

When found Mr Watson was searched by police.

They found drugs and firecrackers.

"I thought it was search and rescue, not rescue and search,” Mr Watson said.

He said the fireworks were left over from New Year's Eve.

"I was going to let them off but it wasn't the right time or place - they would have scared Stubby.”

"And the drugs... well...”

Yesterday the pair was getting ready to head back out to sea again.

"Stubby goes everywhere with me,” Mr Watson said.

"If he can't go, I can't go.”


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