Our incredible dogs.

Dog lost at sea is found – five weeks later!

This story has been widely reported and for good reason. The source of my post is here.

ooOOoo

Dog presumed lost at sea shows up 5 weeks later, wagging her tail

Mary Jo DiLonardo March 17, 2016
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

When Nick Haworth’s dog, Luna, fell off his fishing boat a couple miles off the shore of San Clemente Island in the Pacific Ocean, he thought there was a good chance she’d swim for land.

“Nick was pretty certain she would make for shore because she was a very strong swimmer,” says Sandy DeMunnik, public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Base Coronado, which includes the island. “He asked if he could have permission to come ashore to get her.”

San Clemente Island is a weapons training facility where they work with bombs and offshore bombardment, so they had to shut off one of the artillery ranges to look for the 1 1/2-year-old German shepherd/Husky mix. The staff helped Haworth search for her to no avail. He stayed in the area for two more days and couldn’t find her.

“After about a week, it was presumed she had never even made it to shore because they hadn’t seen a sign of her,” says DeMunnik. “They presumed she was lost at sea.”

Fast forward five weeks to March 15 when Navy staff arrived on the island for work.

“She was sitting on the side of the road just wagging her tail,” says DeMunnik. The staff members knew immediately that this was the dog they had been searching for. They opened their door, whistled and Luna jumped right in the truck.

After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

They immediately called Haworth and let him know the happy news. Luna was examined by the island’s wildlife biologist, who said she likely wasn’t seen for five weeks because her tan-and-black coloring let her blend in with the island’s landscape. Miraculously, except for having lost a little weight, she was OK.

“Amazingly for being lost for five weeks in a very dangerous and treacherous environment, she was fine,” says DeMunnik. “During that time, there was bombardment training, weapons training … there was a lot of very loud, very dangerous training going on, and we had some very severe El Nino storms.”

Those storms probably helped keep the dog alive because fresh water was brought to the island by barge for the staff during the storm. They determined that Luna had survived by eating dead fish and rodents.

Because her owner, a commercial fisherman and student at San Diego State University, was away on a fishing trip, he sent his best friend, Conner Lamb, to meet Luna’s plane. When the plane doors opened, she leapt into Lamb’s arms and he fought back tears. On her first night home, he made her a steak for dinner.

The commanding officer of the base sent Luna home with a keepsake of her time spent on the island: her own set of military dog tags. They are engraved with her name, the dates she was missing, and “Keep the faith.”

Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it's clear that's she's had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it’s clear that’s she’s had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

ooOOoo

Two more pictures to reinforce this wonderful story.

The first from US News:

Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.
Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.

And the second from Eye Witness News on abc:

Nick Hawarth and Lucky Luna.
Nick Haworth and Lucky Luna.

Well done everyone!

 

16 thoughts on “Our incredible dogs.

    1. John, a fair question. Guess the answer depends on what type of fishing was being undertaken? If it was any form of trawling then a rapid turn might have been too difficult. But, as I said, it’s a fair question.

      1. Yes, I read one of the linked articles and it says they were bringing in their nets. Still, I wouldn’t be able to help myself but jump in. I’d be sick with worry.

    2. From the ABC link:

      “They were pulling in their (lobster) traps, and one minute Luna was there, and the next minute she was gone,” said Sandy DeMunnik, spokeswoman for Naval Base Coronado. “They looked everywhere for her. They couldn’t see her. The water was dark, and she’s dark.”

      That’s about as far as an explanation goes, it seems.

      1. Well, there’s something a bit fishy (lobstery?) about all this. The bloke in the bottom picture looks a bit . . . mischievous . . . and what’s more he’s holding a dog that ain’t Luna!

      2. I think it adds up Paul, except for two things: the bit saying “the water was dark, and she’s dark” makes no real sense, and the bottom photograph is totally unrelated to the story, to Luna, or to her owner Nick Haworth, it instead being from something called ‘Pet of the Day’ (Bing Image Search), whatever that is and whoever the dog and man are. o_O

  1. I reallyu like stories like this except the story in not complete and the last pic is not one of Luna. However, News stoires havea a way of getting “messed up” and I believe that 98-99% of the story is true. The one thing that bothers me is that she should have been wearing a dog life vest on that boat. Even if a dog is a good swimmer makes no difference, the dog needs to be safe as possible. Actually if it were me, I’d not take my pet out on a vast body of water, it’s just not safe.

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