LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. – Two lifeguards rescued a dog with a Jet Ski on a Los Angeles County beach. The pet was swimming about 600 yards off the shore of Zuma Beach when a lifeguard realized the dog was in trouble.
"Not your everyday ocean rescue, but we were sure happy to help this 4-legged friend make its way back to the beach," the LA County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division posted on Facebook.
Two lifeguards launched their rescue Jet Ski, loaded the dog onto a sled and towed the pup back to its very appreciative owner.
"I would say we only have a handful of animal rescues a year," said Kenichi Haskett, Section Chief Los Angeles County Fire, Westside Division. "We’ve had horse rescues and deer rescues as well."
The Lifeguard Division and the National Weather Service have been sending out warnings about the high surf, strong winds, and rip currents since Friday. A Wind Advisory and Beach Hazard Statement remain in effect through noon Wednesday.
"We saw a pickup in the swell over the weekend. Now its starting to diminish. But we still have overhead waves," said Haskett, which translates to 5-6 foot high waves.
"If the weather's nice like it was this past weekend the upper 60s, the low 70s -- that attracts people to the beach," added Haskett. "We did have rescues over the weekend."
Lifeguards rescued two people over the weekend at Zuma Beach and three at Manhattan Beach Monday as well. The LAFD stations additional rescue watercraft at beaches during High Surf Advisories.
Haskett said this time of year, lifeguards primarily rescue not dogs but beginner surfers, beachcombers knocked down by the high surf and pulled out by rip currents and kayakers that underestimate the strength of the offshore winds and can’t get back to the beach.
"While rescues like this one sure put a smile on our face," the Department continued on Facebook, "Lifeguards would like to remind beach goers that dogs are not allowed on Los Angeles County Beaches."