Newfoundland dogs trained to rescue people from drowning

The dogs have water-resistant fur and webbed paws.

Newfoundland dogs trained to rescue people from drowning as new campaign launched Twitter

Newfoundland dogs have been specially trained to rescue people from drowning.

The breed is a powerful working dog with thick, water-resistant fur and webbed paws.

They were previously used to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood for the forest.

However, their size and loyalty are said to made them ideal for helping save people from the water.

The dogs demonstrated their abilities at Falkirk’s Helix Park on World Drowning Prevention Day on Monday.

The demonstration was watched by the Scottish Government’s safety minister, Ash Regan.

A new water safety campaign has been launched across the country.

Scots are being told to ‘respect the water’ following a number of drownings over the past year.

Regan said that it is “vitally important” that people exercise extreme caution if venturing into open water.

“I welcome the opportunity to support the World Health Organisation’s World Drowning Prevention Day,” she said.

“We are blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and surrounded by waterways that can appear tempting during hot weather.

“But it’s vitally important people exercise extreme caution if venturing into open water and that they heed all of the safety advice. Entering any waterway has an element of risk and can have tragic consequences.

“The Scottish Government takes the issue of water safety very seriously and our sympathies remain with everyone affected by the tragedy of a water fatality.”

The minister underlined the need to adhere to safety advice when in and around cold water.

She added: “We work closely with Water Safety Scotland (WSS) and other partners, including local councils, Police Scotland, RoSPA, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to implement and support initiatives that can help raise awareness of the hazards around water and reduce deaths from accidental drowning.

“I have witnessed today work to prevent water tragedies from occurring but this is never a substitute for adhering to safety advice when in and around cold water.”

If you see someone struggling in the water this summer:

  • Immediately dial 999 and ask for the fire service if you are inland. If by the sea, ask for the Coastguard.
  • Encourage the person in trouble to try to float by leaning back, spreading and gently moving their arms and legs to try to relax and get control of their breathing before they try to swim to safety.
  • Throw them something nearby which they can hold onto to help them float.
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