Bethany Beach firefighters were among those who recently rescued a dog who had been swept out to sea.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) dispatch center received a call just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 about a dog that needed to be rescued from the water about a mile south of the Indian River Inlet.
While swimming, Cruz, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, was swept about 500 yards offshore and was unable to return to land on his own. DAS officers were immediately dispatched and requested water rescue equipment and assistance from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
Two Bethany Beach firefighters in cold-water wetsuits used a personal-watercraft device equipped for water rescues to retrieve Cruz and bring him back to shore. He was assessed by Delaware Animal Services officers, who found him to be cold and tired, but otherwise fine. Cruz was released to go home with his family.
“Cruz was very happy and lucky to be rescued from the frigid water,” said DAS Capt. Reed Jones. “Dog owners should always use caution around water. Keeping dogs on a leash and under control of their owner is critical to their safety. Luckily, Cruz’s owners contacted Delaware Animal Services, and trained rescuers were able to get to him in time.”
The OAW advised residents not to attempt to rescue animals in distress on their own, especially around cold water or ice. Animal-related emergencies can be reported to the 24-hour Delaware Animal Services hotline at (302) 255-4646.