VICTORIA -- Officers from both the Victoria and Saanich police departments rescued a man and his dog from a sinking boat in the Gorge Waterway early Friday morning.

The dramatic rescue began just after 4:35 a.m. this morning when police received reports of a sinking boat near the west side of Tillicum Bridge.

Officers from VicPD, the Saanich police department and a police dog responded to the call. When they arrived, the officers found that the boat had completely capsized and that a man and his dog were clinging to the side of the vessel.

Police then threw the man a line from shore for him to grab onto. As the man grabbed the line, VicPD says the current pushed the boat close to a nearby shore ladder exit. Officers then encouraged the man to swim for the ladder as they simultaneously pulled him towards dry land using the line. 

As the man neared the ladder, one officer entered the Gorge Waterway to protect the man from being pushed by the current and assisted him out of the water. Officers were also able to rescue the man's dog from the water unharmed.

Once the man was out of the water, officers kept him warm until paramedics arrived. He was then treated on-site before being transported to hospital.

Police say the man was living on the boat before it capsized.