Parks and Recreation to probe why Battery Beach lifeguard dragged tied-up dogs into the sea

2014-01-24 00:00

A FRENCH tourist had to rescue a dog from drowning early on Wednesday morning at Battery Beach in Durban, after a lifeguard allegedly dragged the dog — fastened to a sign board — into the water.

People have reacted with outrage at the actions of the lifeguard, who allegedly tried to drown the dog while onlookers watched in horror.

East Coast Radio Newswatch reported yesterday that city officials are investigating reports that the two Jack Russells, tied to a “No Swimming” sign, were dragged towards the sea at Battery Beach at about 6 am, as the municipal lifeguard moved the sign into the water. “One of the dogs managed to break free, but the other gasped for breath as water swept over its head.”

Eyewitness Teressa Lugg, who was training on the beach with a few others at the time, said, “I was shouting at the lifeguard, asking him what is he doing? And how can he do that to an animal?”

A French tourist passing by ran into the water, undid the dog’s lead and pulled the dog out of the water, Lugg said.

It’s not known why the dogs had been tied up in the first place.

Thembinkosi Ngcobo, head of eThekwini Parks and Recreation, confirmed yesterday he knew about the allegation, and that an investigation was launched immediately. “Our staff are there to safeguard all living beings, people and animals, and no one is allowed to abuse animals.”

He said by-laws prevent dogs from being on the beach when the owners are not with them, and that part of their investigation will be to track down the owners, interview the lifeguard and all other witnesses.

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