Hero braves crocodile-infested waters to save drowning dogs stranded at sea

A man ran into "shark-infested" waters to save two dogs who were close to drowning.

Merv Williamson swam 100m to save the exhausted pooches despite the area of North Queensland, Australia, being renowned for crocodile and deadly stinger jellyfish populations.

The drama unfolded after his partner Amy Helenius saw on social media two dogs were stuck on a sandbar off Illawong Beach on Thursday afternoon.

As the tide came and surrounded the sandbar the frightened pets became stranded out at sea, writes ABC.

The woman who made the post, Catherine Fenech, said she tried to go into the water to save the animals but her own dog and her son tried to follow her.

By the time Mr Williamson arrived at the beach, with Ms Helenius and their one-year-old child, bystanders had managed to coax one of the canines back to shore.

But the Staffie was stuck so Mr Williamson, of Mackay, Queensland, bravely ignored his own safety and man-eating crocs to try and help.

Ms Helenius said: "The second dog [a Staffie] was still out there looking exhausted. Merv just threw off his shoes and ran straight in.

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"Being North Queensland waters, you have got to be careful of crocs and stingers but saving a life was more important."

As her hero partner swam out the dog disappeared underwater three times. She added: "He could see the dog starting to give up but thankfully he reached her just in time and carried her back to shore.

"It was all really quick, but it ended up being a happy ending."

The dogs' owner had also seen Ms Fenech's Facebook post and rushed to the beach where she witnessed the heroic rescue.

"When they both got back to shore (the dogs) were very happy to be with their mum," said Ms Helenius. "With all the rain that has been around, the dirt has been getting a lot softer so that makes it easier for pets to escape.

"They took themselves for a walk down to the beach and are thankfully back in her care now."

The dogs are both understood to be in good health and receiving plenty of cuddles after their ordeal.

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