An emergency crew rescued a horse that became stranded in the ocean after it swam more than three kilometres out to sea off the coast of California.
The seven-year-old white Arabian called William was spooked by the sound of breaking surf as the tide came in during a photo shoot on a Santa Barbara beach on Tuesday evening, prompting it to run into the ocean.
The photographers tried unsuccessfully to coax it back to shore, but the horse swam even further out to sea.
"Horses can swim, but not well," owner Mindy Peters said.
"And he's never been swimming before in his life."
By the time a harbour patrol boat arrived to help the stranded animal, it had already swum three kilometres off shore.
The harbour patrol boat attached floats to the horse so it could keep its head above water, and helped it swim back to dry land with the help of two paddleboarders.
After being checked by a vet, William was released back into the care of its owners.
The horse had been swimming for three hours.