Brave Dog, Presumed Dead, Shows Up Alive a Month After Falling Overboard in Ocean

For more than a month, a fisherman in California thought his beloved German shepherd, Luna, had drowned when she fell off of his boat.

Nick Haworth, a commercial fisherman who worked on a boat near San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off the coast of San Diego, noticed his dog was gone and notified Navy personnel. He lost the 18-month-old pup on February 10. Sandy DeMunnik, a spokeswoman for Naval Base Coronado, said, “They were pulling in their traps, and one minute Luna was there, and the next minute she was gone. They looked everywhere for her. They couldn’t see her. The water was dark, and she’s dark.”

Haworth searched the dark waters for two days, while the Navy scoured the island, also for two days. All hope of finding Luna alive was dwindling, when staff for the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field spotted a dog sitting on the side of the road. This was a strange sight, considering animals are not allowed on the island due to environmental factors.

“The staff called to Luna, and she came right over,” said DeMunnik. The Navy found the pup on March 16, more than a month after she was lost. The dog was a strong swimmer and had made it to shore, surviving on dead fish and rodents. DeMunnik added that Haworth was overwhelmed. “He was so happy and grateful and thrilled.”

The pup lost her dog tags during the ordeal, but the Navy gave her new ones. These new tags have a special tribute to her bravery, in addition to her name. They read, “Keep the Faith,” in honor of the essential lesson of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course that is taught on the island to Navy and Marine staff. Luna’s is truly a remarkable story of survival and faith.

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