The dogs of Dubai Police's K9 unit are being trained to perform airdrops from helicopters and sniff out bodies that have been lost at sea.
Col Aref Murshed, head of K9 department, said employing dogs in search and rescue missions at sea could help the force find people more quickly and increase odds of survival for the victim.
The K9 unit - made up of German shepherds, Malinois', springers and Labradors - ordinarily helps with sniffing out explosives or drugs, searching for missing people, locating dead bodies and tracking suspects.
The dogs are now being trained to be comfortable with abseiling from a helicopter while accompanied by a police officer. It is unclear if dogs fear heights or get sea sick.
The dogs train for two hours a day to remain fit and well-trained to take part in such missions.
The K9 unit was established in March 1976 with six dogs and six trainers. Today, it has more than 58 dogs and 45 trainers.