Dogs are incredible animals that can be trained to do extraordinary things. From police K9s to service dogs, we’ve seen many stories of special dogs whose jobs it is to people’s lives.
And one recent story shows that dogs can even be lifeguards. A group of specially-trained Italian dogs have been credited with saving the life of a group of people drowning on the beach, including young children.
The incident happened off the coast of Sperlonga, Italy. According to CNN, a group of three families became trapped in the ocean after their flotation equipment began to capsize due to rough wind and waves.
The group was at serious risk of drowning — especially since the group included children between 6 and 12 years old.
Lucky for them, there were some unlikely heroes on lifeguard duty that day: three dogs.
The lifeguard Labradors — named Eros, Mya and Mira — are trainees of the Italian rescue dog school SICS, which has 300 dog units across 30 beaches.
The dogs proved how crucial these rescue animals are to beachgoers’ safety by leaping to the rescue, saving all 14 family members.
According to Italian news source Kodàmi, it took the dogs about 20 minutes to get them all to safety, each making multiple trips into the ocean.
“The exceptional rescue … demonstrates once again, how much the presence of our four-legged lifeguards and their conductors is fundamental in difficult situations,” Roberto Gasbarri of SICS told the outlet.
Back on shore, the three lifeguard dogs were hailed as heroes for their rescue mission.
“Congratulations to these four-legged heroes and their conductors for this complex operation,” said Armando Cusani, mayor of Sperlonga, according to SICS’ Facebook post. “I am increasingly convinced that the municipal administration’s choice to implement the safety of bathers thanks to the presence of lifeguard dogs, was a right choice.”
Thank you to these three lifeguard dogs for saving all those families — you are true heroes.