Cops Can't Believe Their Eyes As Laboring German Shepherd Paddles By

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — What a save!

Two NYPD harbor officers were credited Tuesday with rescuing a dog from drowning. The 8-month-old German shepherd ran off from his owners, into the Rockaway Inlet and drifted away for nearly an hour.

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CBS 2’s Dana Tyler met “Charlie” and his angels, police officers Edward Carr and Ben Reiver. They were on patrol two miles off Manhattan Beach when they said they couldn’t believe their eyes.

“One in a million chance,” Officer Carr said.

“It’s like a needle in a haystack,” Officer Reiver added.

A quarter mile from the boat, Reiver saw something curious floating in the water.

“I figured I’d go check it out. The closer we got, we realized it was a dog and it was alive,” Reiver said.

The pooch was out to sea and fighting for his life.

“Right here was the only part above the water,” Reiver said, his hands shadowing the shepherd’s ears. “His nose was up like this. He wasn’t paddling anymore. He was trying to stay up.”

The officers maneuvered the boat closer and Charlie seemed to know he was being rescued.

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“He just looked at us and perked up,” Reiver said. “He knew we were going there to pick him up. He wanted help and made it easier for us.”

But the wind and current were pushing the boat away.

“So I had to put the boat in gear. It’s actually a risky move with these types of boats, because you could hurt someone or you could hurt the animal, but we only had one shot because we was losing it,” Reiver said.

It turns out Charlie had been in the water for 40 minutes. He’d run away from his owner, who didn’t want to be interviewed but was grateful the dog was okay thanks to New York’s Finest.

“If a dog could show any kind of happiness, I think that was it. He was actually trying to get into the boat,” Officer Carr said.

“I feel great. As a dog owner, I can imagine what they were going trough, just watching him slowly drift away out there and not being able to do anything and just by chance we happened to be there,” Officer Reiver added.

The officers canvassed the shore and reunited the daring dog-paddler with his worried owners.

After all that paddling and fighting the current, Charlie showed signs of exhaustion, but overall, is in good condition.

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