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This Dog Swam In the Gulf of Mexico for 3 Hours Before Being Rescued
Photo: Screen Shot / Fox13

I can't imagine treading water for three hours, but that's just what one poor pooch did after he fell overboard in the choppy waters off the coast of Hernando Beach, Florida. Good thing boaters saw a tiny orange and white shape bobbing in the sea and started towards it. One passenger on board, Bruce Knecht, recalls thinking it was a buoy until he saw it moving.

As they maneuvered their vessel closer to the struggling form, they could see its small nose barely above the waves. Although, the exhausted Jack Russell Terrier was wearing a doggy life vest, he was still doing all he could to keep himself from taking in water.

Another passenger onboard revealed that if their boat hadn't been so close to the location of the dog in the first place (within 5 to 10 feet) they would never have spotted him.

This Dog Swam In the Gulf of Mexico for 3 Hours Before Being Rescued
Photo: Screen Shot / Fox13

But luckily they did and were able to pull the drippy canine to safety. After they had him on the boat, they radioed the Coast Guard to see if this little Terrier had been reported lost.

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Sure enough, a call had come in three hours prior to their finding the dog. How exhausted this poor pooch must have been! With their soggy passenger safely in tow, the good Samaritans made their way to the closest Coast Guard station. That is where a relieved owner was overjoyed to be reunited with his beloved pet.

According to the dog's owner, he went into his vessel's bilge to check something and in that moment, his little dog had managed to fall into the water. The group also learned the drenched pooch's name is Jaegermeister, and that he is dearly loved by his owner, even considered to be his “baby.”

With summer coming upon us, more and more folks are going to be taking to the waters and open seas with their canine companions. Don't let your dog become a story on the 6 o'clock news. Be sure to invest in a good canine life preserver and make sure he is wearing it, even if the water is shallow or your exhibition is only for a short time.

This Dog Swam In the Gulf of Mexico for 3 Hours Before Being Rescued
Photo: Screen Shot / Fox13

If Jaegermeister hadn't been wearing one of these devices, he surely would've drown in those choppy waters. According to VetStreet, other tips for safe boating with your furry pal should include making a solid plan in case your pooch does take a tumble overboard. This can include cutting the engine and calling the dog's name.

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Another tip is to always let your dog get used to the boat before you take off onto the water. A panicked dog is more likely to try to bolt, over one that is accustomed to the motion and sounds of a floating vessel.

Lastly, always have a doggy first aid kit handy just in case of scrapes, cuts or bumps. Enjoy the hot months with your dog by doing some pre-boating planning, then set sail for new sights and those exciting sandy shores.