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Wet labrador swims home..!

A Labrador proved himself to be a real ‘sea-dog’ when he swam 10 miles across one of the world's busiest waterways to reach safety after falling from his owner's boat off the Isle of Wight.

Todd, the two-year-old pet of Peter Loizou, 35, slipped overboard about a mile from the island. Mr Loizou, a car dealer, put out a radio message asking other boat crews to look out for Todd. He then spent four hours searching but gave up and docked at Cowes.

Unknown to him, Todd had swum in the opposite direction and had waded ashore on the mainland, near Mr Loizou's New Forest home.

It is believed that the dog had been in the water for six hours swimming against strong currents and between ferries, tankers, ocean liners and yachts.

Exhausted

A teenager and his grandfather found exhausted Todd on a beach near Beaulieu and took him to a local veterinary surgeon who identified the dog through his microchip. By the time police contacted Mr Loizou, he had returned home from the Isle of Wight believing Todd had drowned.

He said: "I was astonished and delighted. I couldn't believe he had swum all that way. Todd is a very fit dog and a very good swimmer, but this was just amazing. I always take him on my motor cruiser and he loves the sea air and standing on the front of the deck where he gets splashed.

"I usually make him wear a special orange lifejacket but it was hot on this occasion so I took it off. I put him below deck when it got a bit choppy but he must have forced the doors.

When I went down a bit later the doors were open and he had vanished.

"There are some steps leading up to the deck, which runs very close to the side, and he often has problems there so he must have slipped off."

Virginia Richardson, the veterinary surgeon who examined Todd, said: "He is an extremely fit and muscular dog. Even so, it is amazing he could have swum so far."