A SCARBOROUGH man took on the crashing waves of the North Sea to rescue a drowning dog.
Brian Smith was at work at Scarborough Sea Life Centre’s pirate golf attraction when the drama unfolded, on Tuesday afternoon.
The 32 year old, of Newby, was approached by a passer-by asking for a net or rope as a dog had gone into the sea.
Mr Smith, who recently qualified as a primary school teacher, said: “I went to the top of the slipway to see what was going on.
“There was a small terrier in the water between the slipway and the steps - the waves were just too big for it.
“It was looking pretty distressed.”
Mr Smith waded in waist-deep and said the waves were crashing over him.
He explained: “I’ve lived here all my life and I knew there was a path along the bottom of the wall. A guy had lowered a life ring, so from my point of view all I had to do was get to the dog.”
Mr Smith managed to hold on to the dog with one hand and the life belt with the other, while he walked out of the water and back up the slipway.
He said: “The dog was OK – his tail was going once he was back up with his owners.”
Even though this incident had a happy ending, Mr Smith is encouraging others not to put themselves at risk.
He said: “The sea is dangerous and I wouldn’t encourage anybody to go in when something like this happens.
“But I’ve spent the last 20 years surfing and diving here and I know my limits.”
Mr Smith added that the owners were really grateful, saying: “The woman came up and gave me a hug, despite the wetness!”
Passer-by Jeff Leah, 68, on holiday from Hyde, Manchester, said: “The waves were really rough and high.
“It was terrible to watch, I thought they were both going to be drowned.”
Mr Leah, who is staying in West Ayton, added that the terrier was called Arthur.
Scarborough coastguard station officer Mark Appleby said: “While this particular incident had a positive outcome members of the public or dog owners should not put their own lives at risk to rescue animals no matter how attached they are. Numerous lives have been lost in the past by people attempting such rescues.
“In these circumstances people should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”