Dog lost at sea turns up weeks later on remote island

On Feb. 10, she fell overboard on a fishing boat off the coast of San Clemente Island, according to Naval Base Coronado spokeswoman Sandy DeMunnik.

>> Read more trending stories

The blue-eyed German shepherd was with her owner Nick Hayworth while he and his crew brought in traps.

"One moment Luna was there and the next she was gone," DeMunnik said.

Hayworth called for help as soon as he knew Luna was missing, but after a week passed and she was not found, most presumed the dog was dead.

"He insisted that he was 90 percent sure that she made it to shore because she was such a strong swimmer," DeMunnik  said.

Almost five weeks later, KSWB reported Wednesday that the 18-month-old dog had been found on Tuesday.

Since domestic animals are not allowed on the island for environmental reasons, seeing a dog was an unusal sight.

When the dog saw Navy personnel, she ran up to them.

"She was just sitting there wagging her tail," DeMunnik said.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Luna may have swam to shore, living on her own for weeks until she was found near the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field by staff.

After an examination, Luna was found to be fine, although she was malnourished.

"It looks like she was surviving on rodents and dead fish that had washed up," DeMunnik said.

KNSD reported that the dog was flown to Naval Air Station North Island.

By Thursday night, Luna should be reunited with Hayworth. In the meantime, she was reunited with Conner Lamb, a family friend.

In her ordeal, Luna lost her dog tag, but the Navy gave her a new one that has a lesson from the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) course that is taught on the island to Navy and Marine personnel.

The lesson, on Luna's new dog tag, says, "Keep the Faith."

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.