A DOG owner is lucky to be alive after jumping into the sea to rescue his pet.
The frantic owner went after his dog after it started paddling out to sea off the coast at Roker in Sunderland.
But both ended up struggling in the water and lifeboat crews were called to help rescue them at 7.15pm on Sunday.
The owner managed to get himself back to shore while the RNLI spotted the dog, fighting to keep its head above water.
A spokesman for Sunderland RNLI said: “After a short search of area the dog was located and pulled onboard the inshore lifeboat before being returned to Roker beach to be re-united with its owner.
Ron Carroll, helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: “Thankfully we were able to locate and rescue the dog when we did as within a matter of minutes it would have a different outcome.
“The dog was still swimming but was struggling to keep its head above the water. We would like to thank the person who dialled 999 for the Coastguard when they did; as this incident proves every minute really does count to someone in difficulty in the water.”
•Were you the dog owner? Contact the Echo, tel. 0191 501 7146.