If it weren’t for complete coincidence, this little angel wouldn’t have survived.
In shocking footage that has been circulating social media this week — initially going viral on TikTok with over 10 million views — a dog was found by strangers swimming in the middle of the open sea.
The video was published by Bryn Crowell out on a boat ride with their friends, and it was accompanied by the caption:
"My friends and I saved a dog we found swimming alone in the middle of the ocean."
The video opens with a man swimming out to a dog he and his friends have literally spotted just barely keeping afloat, impossibly far away from land.
The dog is visibly exhausted, and hardly keeping its head above water. It’s clear that this little guy has been swimming for some time, desperately trying to get back to land.
If it weren’t for this shocking twist of fate, and these friends spotting this dog, it’s certain the precious pouch would have drowned.
But this little guy fought, he fought hard, and he stuck it out until he was thankfully rescued.
A one-in-a-million rescue. But why was it necessary?
I know what you’re thinking — how the heck did this dog, with a collar, end up in the middle of the ocean fighting for its life to stay afloat and not drown?
Was he abandoned by its owners? Did he fall off of another boat? Did he swim into the middle of the ocean, and forget how to get back home?
Some users even online even accused the poster and this video of being faked and staged, just for the shock value and views on social media.
But any question about whether this was staged was debunked in the follow-up videos after the initial rescue. Using the tags on the dog’s collar, the friends were able to call the dog’s owner.
Within 20 minutes of the rescue, the family was contacted and they were overjoyed that their dog had been found.
So how’d he actually get there?
In a subsequent follow-up, the owner explains to the rescuers that this little dog’s name is Zuko, and he’s a puppy who’s fairly new to boating.
The owner explained:
"He was hopping around the back of the boat 'biting' at the waves that were passing by, and I guess in one of these moments he must’ve jumped a little too high and jumped overboard.”
It wasn’t initially noticed that Zuko had gone overboard. For that reason, when it registered that he was gone, everyone just assumed he was still on the boat and had gone off in search of a toy. When they finally realized that their dog was no longer on the boat, they tried to retrace their steps.
The owner went on to explain:
"We kept going up and down where we had traveled trying to retrace our path and we had no luck ... after 7 mental breakdowns you guys called us and it was a miracle."
And so, this is how this little guy wound up fighting for his life in the wide-open sea.
To be frank, this horrible accident never should have happened.
Now, as a lifelong dog owner myself, I have to say that I’m very unimpressed with these dog owners. In fact, I find them to be incredibly irresponsible.
There’s a reason that doggie life jackets exist, and this incident is that exact reason. Just as every child should wear a life vest when they’re on a boat, so should dogs. In particular small dogs who aren’t as strong or experienced as larger dogs who swim often. The fact that this dog went overboard and it was unnoticed for long enough that they entirely lost sight of him is deplorable to me.
These irresponsible dog owners are lucky that he survived. Because looking at the state arrived he to the rescuers’ boat, it looked like he didn’t have that much fight left in him.
At the end of the day, Zuko was rescued, and that’s what’s most important. I hope that his owners have learned a valuable lesson and will outfit him with a puppy dog life jacket for future boating excursions.
See the video of the shocking rescue HERE.