A MYSTERY hero stripped down to his underwear and dived into freezing water in the dark to rescue a dog from Ocean Village Marina in Southampton.

The man responded to the screams of the pet’s female owner who had been walking the animal after eating at the Maritimo Lounge restaurant at the upmarket development.

Witnesses described how the man dashed out of Moresby Tower, where the restaurant is on the ground floor, threw off his clothes and jumped into the water wearing just his boxer shorts.

He brought the small dog, described as a Jack Russell or similar type of terrier, back to the safety of dry land.

However the have-a-go hero disappeared from the scene without identifying himself.

The drama happened between 7pm and 8pm on Sunday. A small crowd of up to a dozen onlookers gathered to watch the unusual rescue, according to Maritimo Lounge supervisor Damian Pacuzka who handed the hero a towel to dry off after his efforts.

He said: “The man who rescued the dog told me he had heard a scream and rushed to help the lady who had been walking her dog after dining at Maritimo Lounge. The man did not give his name. He looked in his mid-30s.”

The rescuer was also praised on social media.

Writing on Facebook, David Wright said: “So you pop out to pick up a pint of milk from Tesco on a dark Sunday in January and as you walk by the marina, somebody’s wee dog falls into the water and a buff guy from Moresby comes running out of the flats, strips off, dives in, rescues the dog and goes home.

"Kind of restores your faith in humanity doesn’t it? I love Ocean Village.”

l Do you know the mystery hero? Was it your dog who was rescued? Contact the newsdesk on 023 8042 4522.