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Ben, the beloved golden retriever of Camps Bay Retreat, turned 12 years old last month. Many know him as a friendly, welcoming presence at the Retreat, but he also has some tremendous accomplishments.

In honour of Ben’s birthday, we share with you the story of Ben the superhero.

Six years ago at Paradise Beach in Langebaan, Ben and his owners were spending some holiday time at Speelhuis.

The beach is beautiful, but one spot has a dangerous riptide.

One afternoon, Paul Du Plessis, a neighbour, was standing and braaiing on his deck, looking out over the beach.

He witnessed the following scene:

 

“A lady was standing on the beach, and her little girl who looked to be about 6 or 7 was right in front of the rocks, by the riptide drop off. She was clearly struggling in the waves, and her mother was powerless to help,” Paul recounts.

“Before I could do anything, I saw Ben swimming out to this little girl. When he got to her, she grabbed onto his back without hesitation, and he swam her to safety. As soon as the little girl got to shore, her mother held her tight, obviously moved and shocked by the close-call.”

 

The two left the beach before Paul could speak to them, but in his mind, there is no doubt that Ben had saved the child’s life.

“Somewhere out there, is a child who is alive thanks to Ben,” He says.

And Ben is still looking out for kids when he is at Paradise Beach.

“This weekend,” says Paul, “my kids were swimming close to that spot. Ben stood on the beach and barked at them until they came closer to shore. Once they were in the shallow area, he just left them alone and continued on his way.”

“I think Ben really understands the dangers and wants to protect these kids.”

When we asked Ben about his lifesaving skills, he just wagged his tail.

Want to go on holiday with your pet? We have lots of pet-friendly accommodation options available at Pet Places