A lifeboat crew on a training exercise have rescued a pet dog swept out to see and given up for dead by its owners.
According to London's Daily Mail this morning the labrador disappeared after going for a swim during a walk with her owner at Sea Palling beach in Norfolk on Sunday.
Her owner searched with two kayakers for the much-loved pet, but they were unable to find her. The devastated owner then returned home to break the sad news to his wife.
The coastguard alerted a boat-load of Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers who were on a training exercise in the area. The crew from Happisburgh, Norfolk, decided to search for the missing dog.
The Daily Mail says that after searching about a kilometre out to sea, they were about to give up the search when they heard barking from a rocky outcrop.
The crew found the shaking and frightened labrador clinging to a small reef.
Pictures published in the Daily Mail show the moment the lifeguards coaxed the terrified animal across the reef and into the boat.
They tried to keep her warm as they returned to the beach where they wrapped the dog in a blanket and took her back to their lifeboat station, the Mail says.
She was then reunited with her owners.
"We are sure this will make their Christmas much more enjoyable with the return of their pet," a Royal National Lifeboat Institution spokesman told the Daily Mail. "We believe the Labrador was a nursing mother so this rescue will make a great difference to her pups."