Members of the Italian coastguard rescued a one-month-old kitten off the coast of Sicily and an officer gave the drowning animal mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

When a group of children at the port town of Marsala spotted the cat floating in the sea, having apparently breathed its last, a patrolling officer dived in to save him.

Massaging the kitten's chest, murmuring encouragement and using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation just as they would on a human, officers managed to coax signs of life and eventually a weak miaow from the soaking animal.

Port authorities were so touched they decided to adopt the kitten, naming it Charlie.

Sara Rolse, veterinary nurse at Best Friends, said at the time: 'It's difficult to say how he got into the river, there could be any number of scenarios.

'He could have jumped over a wall and not anticipated what was behind it or he could have been thrown in by someone, we can't be sure. 'It's worrying that he has not been reported as missing despite having an owner, he clearly had one as he was wearing a collar at the time but there are no details about him and he isn't microchipped.

'When he came in he was in hypothermic shock from the cold water and had collapsed and was unresponsive with no reflexes.'


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