Source: SA People News (Extract)
Posted: July 23, 2020

NSRI rescue swimmers, more accustomed to saving humans, yesterday saved a frightened dog that had become trapped on a rock about 30 meters off-shore at Harmony Park Resort, between Strand and Gordon’s Bay in South Africa. Thanks to the dog whisperer skills of Kyle Burns, the dog made it safely to shore.

Vincent Landman, NSRI Gordon’s Bay deputy station commander, said they believe the mixed breed male dog got stuck on the rock by the rising tide.

“The dog was sitting on the rock appearing to be too afraid to jump into the water to swim to the shore,” said Landman.

“While no one came forward claiming to be the owner of the dog, the bystanders who had raised the alarm, a local couple, were on the scene and they reported that a member of the public had tried to reach the dog through the waist deep water but the dog became aggressive and the bystander had retreated.”

NSRI rescue swimmer – Kyle Burns – kitted up into a wetsuit, helmet and gloves, and carrying a towel, went into the water and waded to the rock where he went around to approach the dog from the sea side.

“The fear was that the dog may jump into the water when Kyle approached so in order to encourage the dog to swim towards the shore, if he had jumped into the water, the idea was for Kyle to be on the sea side to usher the dog towards the shore rather than having him swim further out to sea,” explained Landman.

When Kyle reached the rock the dog started barking in fear, but with Kyle’s soothing words and calm demeanour he settled down.

Kyle apparently sat on the rock, quietly next to the dog, and gently explained that it would be better if they were on mainland, said Landman.

“Kyle said the dog seemed to calm down with this gentle approach,” he reported.

Kyle was then able to successfully place a towel over the dog’s head, and carry it through the water across to the mainland without incident.

“The dog appeared to latch onto Kyle once they were safely ashore,” said Landman.

For now the dog has been taken into the care of Gordon’s Bay Animal Welfare (GBAW). It has no collar identification to help locate his owners.

It comes as little surprise that Kyle has admitted that if no one claims the dog, he will try to convince his parents to let him adopt the dog!

NSRI commend the couple who raised the alarm and commended their NSRI rescue swimmer Kyle Burns for successfully rescuing the dog.

City of Cape Town (CoCT) Fire and Rescue Services and CoCT Law Enforcement Marine Unit were also placed on alert for the unique rescue.

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