A dramatic early-morning rescue of a man and his dog in Wollongong Harbour has united a group of strangers.
Barry Harrison Lancaster and his dog Tiberius were asleep on board his boat on July 25, when it suddenly started sinking just before 7am. They were rescued by a trio of strangers who happened to be walking past.
Desperate to thank his rescuers publicly, Mr Harrison Lancaster contacted the Illawarra Mercury for help.
On Wednesday, August 2, the Mercury was invited to the reunion at the harbour, where his boat still sits underwater, as he said thank you.
"I was really impressed, I'm not from here," he said.
Mr Harrison Lancaster slept on his boat a few times a week, and had installed a new pump to remove water leaking into the vessel the day before it sank.
"The cabin was half-full, and the boat was fully on its side. The rear door was underwater and he [Tiberius] was swimming laps around me," he said of the morning in sank.
"As soon as I got my head out, my body out, I just turn around and Tristan's making his way across."
Tristan Patterson, and friends Debra Murphy and Christen Webster are early-morning walkers, and all just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Ms Webster saw there was someone stuck inside the sinking boat.
"We could see that there was movement in the hull and so we started freaking out and going, oh, what to do?," she said.
The trio could also see Tiberius inside the cabin of the sinking boat.
Click on the photos below to see more pictures of the sunken boat
Mr Patterson was there with his dog for their regular morning walk when instinct kicked-in and scrambled down a metal ladder to the stricken vessel.
"I said hold my dog, I'm gonna jump in," he said.
Mr Harrison Lancaster quickly passed his dog out to Mr Patterson through an open window.
Ms Murphy said "Barry was distressed. It looked to me like he was stuck in the window, but it was more from fear".
Mr Harrison Lancaster was shaking like a leaf, Mr Patterson said.
"He was just shocked and very scared I suppose," he said.
When he was finally back on dry land Mr Harrison Lancaster was cold, wet and shivering. A bystander gave him socks to wear and Ms Webster handed over her jumper so he could warm up.
Since the rescue, the walkers have bumped into each other during their strolls along the harbour and all agree they live in a great community.
"You hear of people falling over and crying on the street and not being helped and you know that it's just humanity to help people, isn't it," Ms Murphy said.
Mr Harrison Lancaster's boat was the second vessel to sink in the harbour during a seven-day period after a yacht sank on July 19. The yacht has already been salvaged from the water.
Transport for NSW was unable to provide a date for when the cruiser will be removed from the harbour.