FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of friends went out boating near Fort Lauderdale Sunday, when they spotted something in the water.
Jakob Dutiot, driver and owner of the boat, saw a white dog swimming in the middle of the ocean.
“I saw something in the water and at first I was thinking, like, ‘that kinda looks like a dog,'” said Bryn Crowell, who was on the boat. “A second later I realized it was, in fact, a dog.”
Crowell was in town visiting her dad from California. She said she pulled out her phone and started recording as her friend, Dylan Berian, dived into the water to save the animal.
“We pulled him on the boat, checked his tags,” said Crowell. “He obviously still had all his collars on.”
“The dog warmed up to us instantly,” said Berian. “As soon as it got in the boat it was shaking, but after about five minutes the dog calmed down and seemed quite happy to be on a stable boat rather than getting drowned by waves.”
The group was able to contact the dog’s owners and met them at an inlet about 15 minutes away.
They believe the dog, Zuko, was running around on the boat when he fell off.
“He was kinda near the back of the boat and just, you know, jumped around and having a good time,” said Crowell, “but they must have looked away for a minute or two, and by the time they realized he wasn’t there they thought maybe he had gone inside of the boat and they were looking for him obviously, and then retraced all their steps and panicked at that point.”
Zuko was then reunited with his family, who said they are incredibly grateful and relieved.
“I was crying, I was sobbing,” said Zuko’s owner. “I’m so grateful for them because they saved me such a huge heartbreak.”
Crowell said her video of the rescue has already received more than a million views on social media.
Zuko’s family has since bought him a high-visibility life jacket.
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