People forget that the ocean is not the same as a lake or pond you can't go after a struggling swimmer and do a survival float until rescue arrives. I've been to many of the beaches in that area, they are well known for dangerous undertows, strong surf action, strong currents, and the average water temp is 53-54 degrees.
Never go after a dog in the water, a dog will survival swim better than you who is used to swimming laps in the pool or playing around in the lake.
When in danger or in doubt run in circles scream and shout. --Heinlein