Rescue dogs trained to be lifeguards
By Michal Bardavid

On the shores of Italy are the sharpest of lifeguards – rescue dogs! The trained dogs are always on the lookout, eager to jump into the water and paddle away at the hint of a person in need of assistance.

The workers of the Italian Rescue Dogs School are all volunteers who have partnered with dogs: Labradors, golden retrievers and Newfoundlands.

Currently, the organization has 350 trained canine units throughout the country.

The organization is also unique, as it cooperates with the national Italian coast guard. Together they carry out rescue operations on beaches and in open waters.

In a training session, the dogs are alert and ready to dive in as soon as the sirens are heard. A handle on the dog's special life jacket allows the swimmer to hold on and stay afloat as the dog pulls them to the safety of the boat.

The coast guard also pays special attention to teaching children about safety measures in the water.

Children at an event in Pescara called “Dad I will save you!” were wowed by different demonstrations of rescue operations, including helicopters and divers pulling people out of the water, lifeguards using paddleboards and, of course, the lifeguard dogs.

The organization said lifeguard dogs rescue approximately 30 people a year.