Dana Point's Ocean Institutestaff are not only dedicated to creatures of the sea, they're heroes to land animals as well. On Wednesday morning, staff members rescued a drowning dog from the frigid waters of the Dana Point Harbor.
Duke, a deaf 65-pound boxer, slipped while boarding his owners' sailboat and became tangled in the boat's lines. Meredith McKenzie, one of Duke's owners, hung off the boat to hold her pooch's head and chest above water. Three Spirit of Dana Point staff members - Eric Martel, Carly Rocha and Mary Elizabeth Portwood - heard Meredith's cries for help around 9am and motored to the rescue on a dinghy.
From their small 14-foot vessel they were able to untangle and rescue Duke. "Both the dog and woman were exhausted," said Martel in a statement.
Duke's owners use sign language to communicate with the impaired pup, and they plan to train him to use swim steps.