In March 2004, Melvin Dawe of Sandy Cove, Bonavista Bay, told of Nelson, whom he met at Harbour Grace in 1948 while his ship was in dry dock. A delivery truck pulled up at a nearby building, and while the driver was inside, a small child crawled beneath his vehicle. Nelson became aware of a problem when the driver emerged and started for the truck. The vigilant dog hurried to the truck and inched his way underneath until he could get a grip on the child's clothing, then backed out, dragging the protesting youngster. Evidently, no one but the sailors and dockworkers were aware of Nelson's action - certainly not the child's parents or the driver.
But on the other hand....A Newfoundland dog is not as avid a swimmer as you might imagine and needs a good reason to go into the water. Harold MacPherson writes in the first volume of "The Book of Newfoundland" that when one of his dogs, Billy, was ten months old, he was taken along by a group who went to swim in the ocean. They failed to coax him into the waves but when MacPherson swam out some distance, yelled for help, then threw up his arms and sank, Billy howled and immediately rushed to his aid. He never again showed any reluctance to enter the water.
So Satch I think you should convince your dad to go out in the water and splash around and sink, then you can time how long it takes someone to rescue him....