Labrador plucked from sea fighting for her life

Cape Town – Xena the Labrador’s miraculous rescue from the ocean this week left many hearts warm. However, her adventures are far from over as she fights the repercussions of her near-drowning.

The 2-year-old black Labrador fought for her life on Monday but seemed to be doing a little better in hospital by Tuesday night.

She was still not in the clear but ate some food and was excited to see her owners, her human mom Odette Wiggins told News24.

Xena made headlines when she jumped into the ocean off Strand in Cape Town on Monday morning and was saved by a fishing vessel.

Skipper Julian White reported that Xena, who was many metres offshore of Hendon Park Resort, had seemed quite exhausted.

They got to her side just as she appeared to be sinking.

“It has obviously been quite traumatic,” Wiggins said.

Dramatic leap

She said Xena and canine sibling Cloe escaped their Strand home a week earlier. Her husband Henry-Peter had forgotten to lock the gate.

A member of the public apparently spotted and recognised Xena outside a store on Monday and tried to calm and capture her.

A frightened Xena ran off before the person and an inspector from Animal Welfare Helderberg could catch her.

With the inspector in pursuit, Xena took a dramatic leap into the sea.

She was suspected to have been caught in strong rip currents before being saved, said National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

Reassured and wrapped in a blanket, the pooch was transferred to a sea rescue craft. 

Collapsed lung

She was brought to land with signs of hypothermia.


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