Dog befriends sea lion, chases it four kilometers out to sea
When found by a rescue party, the dog and sea lion were playing happily out beyond the surf.
Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 05:26 AM
An energetic little kelpie named "Westie" was rescued after it chased a sea lion four kilometers out to sea from a South Australia beach, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The sea lion, which was affectionately named "Henry", apparently lured the dog into the surf after a rare appearance on a public beach just outside of Adelaide. After seeing their beloved Westie dart into the waves and disappear beyond the break, the dog's worried owners immediately raised the alarm for a rescue team.
"I headed down to the club and within about 15 minutes of the call-out we had the inflatable in the water," said Craig Van Tenac, a local lifeguard on the scene.
The rescue team rapidly enacted a standard search pattern, zigzagging along the beach from the spot the dog was last seen. After an hour had passed with no sign of little Westie, rescuers began to fear that the dog had drowned.
"He'd been out there for an hour... we weren't expecting to find him at all, but we just kept going to make sure," Van Tenac said.
That's when they saw something bobbing and splashing in the sea — four kilometers from where the search had began. It must have been a surreal sight: there was Westie, seemingly oblivious to his situation, happily playing with a sea lion out in the middle of the ocean.
"Four kilometers is very far out," noted Van Tenac. "They were both fine, they were just playing around in the water."
Westie's grateful owners were relieved to be reunited with their pet, though were understandably astounded by their dog's choice in friends. Next time, they said, Westie would have to greet his sea lion playpal from a leash!