When This Dog Fell Into the Ocean, Everyone Thought She Was Dead. But 5 Weeks Later – Impossible

In February 2016 Nick Haworth was working on his fishing boat off the coast of Southern California. As usual, he had his crew and his beloved dog Luna right behind him as he worked. On this outing, however, Luna would not be making the return trip home.

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Haworth knew, though, that the one-and-half-year-old German Shepard was a strong swimmer. But when he and his crew couldn’t see her anywhere in the water that fateful day they naturally feared the worst.

“That was a rough day,” Haworth later told NBC San Diego. “I was looking around and I couldn’t find the dog. I just couldn’t find the dog. I started freaking out.”

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Still, Haworth held out hope that Luna might manage to swim the two miles to shore, where the San Clemente Island Navy Base was located. Indeed, he even called them to ask for help locating the dog.

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Haworth got through to them too. “He told us Luna was a very powerful swimmer and that he was 90 percent sure she’d head for shore,” Sandy DeMunnik, public affairs officer for Naval Base Coronado, explained to reporters.

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After a week of searching with not a trace of the pooch, however, the Naval staff gave Haworth the bad news. Haworth had to admit to himself that the chances of Luna surviving were slim. After all, sharks, jelly-fish and fast cold-water currents would have made the swim a difficult and dangerous one for any living creature.

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It was tough to accept, but Haworth eventually “gave up” on the possibility of seeing Luna again. “I went through a lot of time where I was so sad about losing my dog. She’s behind me all the time — every minute we’re on the boat,” he told NBC San Diego.

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Haworth continued to grieve for his four-legged friend as the days without a cuddle from his canine companion turned into weeks. Indeed, the bereft fisherman turned to friends and family for condolences.

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On his Facebook page, Haworth announced Luna’s death with a photo of her on his boat and another from when she was just a small pup. “RIP Luna, you will be greatly missed,” he wrote on February 20, 2016.

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Over the following days, though, Haworth would regularly go fishing off the coast of San Clemente Island and look for Luna. “[I had] to make sure she wasn’t there, waiting on me,” he said.

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“I was heartbroken,” Haworth added. “I didn’t know whether she was alive or dead, what to think. It was really devastating to go from having this dog next to me every minute of my life to, all of a sudden, she’s gone in a flash.”

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Then, five weeks after she went missing, and somewhat out of the blue, the unthinkable happened. Indeed, Navy staff found Luna along a road on San Clemente Island.

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As soon as Luna saw people she reportedly ran right over in “high spirits” for attention. Moreover, medical staff said that she was undernourished but otherwise in good health.

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No one knows how long it took Luna to swim to the island, but once there she survived through some tough weeks. In fact, it’s likely that she had to catch and eat mice for food. DeMunnik said it best when she described Luna’s survival as “incredibly remarkable,” especially considering that she’d lived through some raging El Niño storms.

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Navy staff immediately contacted Haworth to inform him of the unbelievable news. “I was in awe — pure disbelief at first,” Haworth admitted.

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“I was overwhelmed with joy,” Haworth added. “Probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m not a guy of many emotions but, man, this had me stirred up. This had me in tears. It’s a beautiful thing to get my dog back.”

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Following their emotional reunion, Haworth admitted that he would be forever thankful to the Navy staff who found Luna and got her home safe. The fisherman described the moment Luna was returned to him as “the greatest gift.”

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“They never gave up and found her,” he added. “I’m very appreciative. To get her back in good health is a miracle.”

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As a token of their own respect for Luna’s incredible endurance, the Navy gave her a unique dog tag reading “Keep the Faith.” She wears the tag daily, and on the boat she now has some other gear that she sports for safety.

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Having learned his lesson the hard way, Haworth has equipped Luna with a doggie life-jacket, reflector and a leash to keep her attached to the boat. “[I’m] not letting her go again, that’s for sure,” he promised.

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