Dogs deployed at coastguard Torre del Mar

by Lorraine Williamson
rescue dogs

Their names are Queen, Oso, Mai, Brown, Nancy and Buddy and they are the six dogs of the Newfoundland and Labrador Retriever breeds that began patrolling the beaches of Torre del Mar, in Vélez-Málaga, this summer. They will help with the surveillance and rescue tasks in and out of the water.

These dogs, between one and seven years old, are part of the MresQ, Unidad Canina de Rescate Y Emergencias. It is the first unit in Andalucia to use dogs for coastal surveillance.

Coast Guard base of operations

Their base of operations is the dog beach of Torre del Mar, where this patrol catches all the eyes, compliments and caresses of swimmers, fascinated by the skills of these four-legged rescuers.

These dogs, great swimmers, are capable of towing a boat to shore. They can use their sense of smell to trace the scent of a lost person’s garment until they find it. And even locate a corpse in waters with poor visibility.

They always act equipped with special life jackets. These guarantee that the dog will keep its head above water in case of difficulties. Also, they always cooperate with inseparable rescue guides. These guides are the first to reach the victim in case of an emergency.

Dog always accompanied by a guide

“The dog is a very important support for the rescuer. But, he is never sent alone to a rescue, such a responsibility cannot be delegated to it,” explains Miguel Sánchez-Merenciano, instructor of water rescue dogs.

Baycrest Wealth

“We’re talking about dogs that haul between 2,000 and 2,800 pounds of waterlines,” says Sánchez-Merenciano, the proud owner of Queen, who recalls that Newfoundlands are “very important in rescuing multiple victims” because they can tow multiple people at once and are trained to go by boat, kayak or jet ski.

Experience of a subject

“The rescuer jumped in with the dog. He told me to hook onto them and lie on my back. The dog did a fantastic job. Everything was super good, I was super calm. Unbelievable, spectacular,” Antonio Ramirez, the bather who pretended to drown to be rescued by Brown, told EFE.

This unit of the Coast Guard works with teams of three dogs and in shifts of up to an hour and a half. The beach coordinator and supervisor of Rescue of the city of Vélez-Málaga, Manuel Durán, notes that the animals are perfectly cared for. When they are not on duty, they are well taken care of, with fresh water and fans or air conditioning. The safety of the animal comes first.

Base coast guard is dog beach Torre del Mar

There are swimmers who are reluctant to see animals on the beaches. And there are owners who are not allowed to take their pets to other bathing areas. To avoid problems, this unit will have its operational base at the dog beach of Torre del Mar for the time being, where they can walk along the coast in peace.

The mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Jesús Lupiáñez, plans to issue a decree to allow these rescue dogs to patrol any beach in the municipality.

Also read: Dogs that help children with reading problems


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