This is the moment a lifeguard waded into the sea and launched a dramatic rescue – of an inflatable killer whale.
Concerned bathers watched in amazement as the rescue worker dived into the chilly waters off the north Yorkshire coast like a scene from Baywatch.
But it soon became clear it was not a life-or-death situation as his target was a blow-up toy which had drifted some 300 yards offshore.
As the toy’s owner – a boy of around nine or ten-years-old – watched anxiously from the shore, the lifeguard wrestled with the large inflatable.
But he struggled to bring it under control as he balanced on his surfboard and decided to try and deflate it instead.
However, when that proved too difficult the shaggy-haired RNLI volunteer had no choice but to paddle back to the beach with the inflatable tucked under his arm.
After 20 minutes battling the wind and strong currents, he eventually returned the whale to its grateful owner.
The lad then rushed off with his parents to continue enjoying the sunshine at Sandsend near Whitby on Tuesday.
Local resident Dag Kjelldahl, who photographed the entire incident, said: “The lifeguard fought with it several times, sometimes stopping to take a break and catch his breath.
“It was as if the whale was putting up quite a fight.”