In what can only be described as the ultimate example of being in the right place at the right time, a group of divers from the United States recently came across a dog stranded in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and saved his life.
Christine Simon was in South Belize last month with a group from Diving For Life, a non-profit scuba organization that raises money and awareness for LGBTQ health, when a friend saw something bobbing in the shark-infested waters.
The group initially thought it was a bird (they were miles from shore), but they soon realized that it was a dog frantically trying to stay alive.
With the boat still in motion, a diver attempted to get the scared dog, but had no success. That’s when Linda Pinfold of San Francisco, California took her turn in the water to rescue him.
“Everything in me at that time was screaming ‘Get that dog out of the water and on board,’” Pinfold tells PawCulture. She plunged herself into the water with her gear on and swam up beside him.
“I spoke gently to him to let him know I was there while I reached my left arm from under and behind him so that my arm was along the length of his body with my hand holding him by his chest,” she says.
Pinfold says she quickly swam him back to the boat and gently lifted him aboard.
Simon then made the dog—appropriately named Lucky— a nest of towels to rest in until they got back to land. She says the dog seemed somewhat disoriented and was shaking when he was pulled aboard.
The divers have no idea how Lucky wound up so far out at sea, whether he fell off a boat, was left at sea, or if he had drifted out while playing in the water closer to shore.
Fortunately, one of the group’s divers was a veterinarian, Simon says. After examining the dog, he was found to be in good shape and relatively good health.
Lucky stayed with the group the night of his rescue then was brought to the Placencia Humane Society.
The staff of the facility tried to find Lucky’s owner via social media and flyers over the island to no avail, but Lucky’s luck didn’t end there. One of the couples on the trip, Bob Bozarth and Brian Johnson, decided to make him their own.
While Lucky is still being fostered and cared for in Belize (he has to finish his shots as well as his month of quarantine), he will be flown to Seattle to start his new life with Bob, Brian and their other dog, Jax, by Thanksgiving.
The group who was responsible for saving Lucky’s life have stayed in touch since the incredible incident and are grateful for the moment that brought them all close together, Simon says.
Images via Jack Johnson; Hilary Wilcher