Dog believed lost at sea turns up on island used by U.S. Navy

Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:12pm EDT
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(Reuters) - A dog believed to have drowned after disappearing from a fishing boat off the California coast five weeks ago was found on an island owned by the U.S. Navy and will be reunited with her owner on Thursday evening, the Navy said.

Luna, a blue-eyed German shepherd-husky mix, apparently swam 2 miles (3.2 km) to San Clemente Island, off the San Diego coast, where Navy employees found her on Tuesday, Naval Base Coronado spokeswoman Sandy DeMunnik said. The island is a Navy training base.

"It was a long haul for a puppy across treacherous terrain," DeMunnik said on Thursday. "She was a little thinner, but none the worse for wear."

Luna, who is about 18-months old, was on a fishing boat with her owner Nick Haworth when she went missing before dawn on Feb. 10 while Haworth and a crew member hauled in a catch, DeMunnik said.

Haworth searched the waters for two days backed by Navy personnel, who also searched the island for a week, DeMunnik said.

The San Diego fisherman presumed Luna was dead 10 days after she went missing, posting photos of the dog on Facebook and writing "RIP Luna."

Luna likely spent no more than a day in the water. She was found sitting along a road on the island.

"Beyond stoked to have Luna back," Haworth wrote on Facebook. "I always knew she was a warrior."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Toni Reinhold)

Connor Lamb holds Luna, a German Shepherd who was presumed lost at sea and found by Navy personnel on San Clemente Island, upon the dog's return at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego, California in this March 16, 2016 handout photo released to Reuters March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Naval Base Coronado via Facebook/Handout via Reuters