"They were exhausted. So I ran to the beach, took off my shoes and shirt and ran into the water. Then Nico ran in just charging toward them. I didn't even know the dog could swim that well," says Clarke. "I looked and the dog went right up to the guy, spun his body around next to him. I yelled, 'Grab his tail!' That dog just worked like I've never seen him work before, just pulling that guy all the way to the beach."
Without hesitating, Nico then turned and headed back out into the water.
"He took off back after the woman with the boogie board. When he got to her, he spun around, and I yelled, 'Just grab him anywhere!' So she puts her arm around his chest, grabbing his fur, and he pulled her all the way in," Clarke says.
"Then he just shook off and looked at me like, 'All right, can we finish our walk?' It was insane. My jaw dropped."
Nico's actions were so swift and successful, that the exhausted couple - lucky to be alive - thought that the dog might have been trained to help in such a situation:
"The gal looked at me and asked, 'Does this dog come with some lifesaving certificate?' All I know is that I've had three of these dogs, and Nico is the only one that I've seen swim. They were like, 'Wow, that's incredible.' This guy is just a swimmer."
Clarke says he adopted Nico just two months ago despite cautions that he was temperamental and might not be the easiest to train, but the dog has already proven he's more than just a pet.
"I look at Nico in a whole different light now," says Clarke. "It's like, geez, you saved these people's lives."