Nearly dead, blue in the face, a Manatee County man thanks his dog for saving his life

Cortez man pulled from water thanks to barking dog
Posted at 11:01 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 23:19:27-04

Eddy Shorter said it best, “I’m on bonus time now,” after he slipped off his boat knocked himself out and slammed face first into the water.

Shorter is the dock master at Seafood Shack Marina Bar and Grill.  On Aug. 23, while taking his dock “Bay” for a walk he slipped off his sailboat.  He remembers nothing until waking up in the hospital the following morning.

“I remember stepping onto the dock, and I remember taking a couple steps, and the next thing I know I'm waking up in the hospital,” Shorter said.  

Shorter believes he was in the water for about 20 minutes.  That is roughly how long his dog Bay was barking at him while he floated in the water.  Finally, another boater docked at the marina heard Bay barking and went outside their boat around 11 p.m. to figure out what was going on.

“I thought it was a dead baby manatee,” Debbie Akins said.

Akins yelled at her boyfriend Harley Wise to grab a flashlight.  Then they both realized it wasn’t a manatee.

“Of course, I wasn't expecting it to be Eddy, but it was Eddy in the water face down,” Wise said.  You don't expect to see someone you  know floating  in the water at 12 o clock at night.”

Wise a former Army Ranger jumped into the water. After getting help from another neighbor they pulled Shorter from the water and Wise began CPR.  

“There was so much water coming out,” Wise said.  

“He saw me do a little breath, but couldn't get a pulse,” Shorter said.  When first responders arrived Shorter finally had a pulse.  He doesn’t remember anything except waking up in the hospital.

“All I remember is like I was in space, no stars, it was just abyss,” Shorter said.  

A year ago Shorter said he rescued Bay from the Bradenton Animal Shelter.  He is grateful he did, because without her he may never have been rescued.

“God has plans it's not your time to go,” Shorter said.  “She is the one who saved my life.”

Shorter is the dock master at Seafood Shack Marina Bar and Grill.  He said he isn’t afraid of going back in the water, he’ll just be a little more careful about slipping and falling in.