The Daily Beast - Cool Canine Lifeguards - August 24, 2010
Toronto Star Picture Editor Wanda Goodwin highlights images of these cool canine lifeguards in Italy.
They leap from helicopters or speeding boats, bringing aid to swimmers who get into trouble off Italy’s popular beaches.
For these canine lifeguards, the doggie paddle does just fine.Hundreds of specially trained dogs form Italy’s corps of canine lifeguards, are deployed each summer to help swimmers in need of rescue.
These “lifedogs” wear a harness or tow a buoy that victims can grab, or a raft they can sit on to be towed back to shore, and unlike their human counterparts, they can easily jump from helicopters and speeding boats to reach swimmers in trouble.
Salvataggio-Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, lifeguard dogs of the Italian school perform a makeshift rescue operation at an international lifeguard meeting in Winterbach, Germany. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards)
Mas the dog, and his lifeguard and school founder Ferruccio Pilenga, perform a rescue during a training at Isola D'Elba island, Italy. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards)
Alyssha the dog, and her lifeguard Donatella Pasquale, are lowered from a helicopter during an exercise at Lago D'Iseo lake, Italy. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards)
Mas the dog, jumps from a helicopter ahead of his lifeguard and school founder Ferruccio Pilenga, during a patent test at Lago D'Iseo lake Italy. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards)