Whereas Hollywood my portray a male lifeguard as a smooth-bodied, toned hunk, the beaches of San Pedro del Pinatar are being patrolled by the opposite this year, a rather hairy, though equally fit life saver, in the form of a Newfoundland dog, which is complimenting the beach rescue services for the first time.
Considered to be a pioneering initiative along the coast of Spain, life guard dogs are not unique; in fact a school in Italy was set up some years ago in order to train dogs for a role of coastal rescue.
The dog is capable of pulling a weight of up to 1,500 kilos through the water, for a distance of up to 5 kilometres without needing to stop for a break. With a human companion capable of summoning assistance from the rest of the team, including boats, the beaches of the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean could well be some of the safest in the area.
The councillor responsible for the development, Pedro Luis Vera, explained that the initiative came about after witnessing a variety of drills and exercises involving dogs in the area, with the aim of increasing the prevention of incidents, whilst also improving the rescue possibilities.
The service is running through this summer season as a pilot for the future, with the 36 human and 1 dog rescuer working together until the end of the summer season on the 15th of September.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44370/