Lifeguards in Seaham came to the rescue of a labrador who got into trouble while going for a dip.
The dog, called Cruz, was spotted struggling in the water 300m off the north end of Seaham beach yesterday afternoon.
Four canoeists helped two RNLI lifeguards to get the distressed animal back to the beach.
After a drink of water, Cruz seemed unaffected by his ordeal.
His owner thanked the RNLI, and added: "Cruz is usually such an obedient dog, he even fetches my newspaper.
"He always comes back when I call him but I think he was just having an “off” day!"