Heroic sailor rescues kitten from death by a whisker

Charlie the cat rescued by the Italian coast guard
Charlie the cat rescued by the Italian coast guard

A big-hearted Italian sailor dived into the water in a Sicilian port to rescue a kitten on the verge of drowning.

One sailor rushed to the aid of the kitten, who had become unresponsive and was feared dead in the water, by jumping in to the sea as the Coast Guard's ship entered the port of Marsala following a patrol mission. 

A heart-warming video of the rescue released on Friday showed crew members administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and massaging the kitten to remove water from its lungs, encouraging it to breathe and to wake up. 

After a few minutes, the kitten, apparently realising it had missed death by a whisker, emitted a few weak "meows".

The kitten, later determined to be a male, has been given a place of refuge at the Marsala maritime district office and has been named Charlie.