Dog News

Dog Overboard! Boats Team Up To Rescue Swimming Dog Off Martha’s Vineyard

by Amy Drew

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Photo: Leslie Souza
Photo: Leslie Souza


When crew members aboard the Island Queen spotted a dog swimming in the waters of Nantucket Sound, they sprung into action.

“The dog was spooked, panicked,” Capt. Ron Rock told the Vineyard Gazette. “It was swimming erratically.”

With passengers on the ferry watching, Rock and his crew teamed up with those onboard a nearby pleasure boat, veering off-course on their usual run between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs, to save the pooch, which had gone overboard earlier and by now was struggling quite a bit.

Though he and the crew attempted to rescue the dog, their vessel was too large to get close enough.

The Lovely Day, meanwhile, was out for a pleasurable day on the water when the ferry’s horn — and shouting passengers — signaled that their help was needed. Their smaller, 25-foot craft was able to approach the dog safely. Using a net to help bring the dog closer, its operators were able to rescue the tired dog.

A video shot by passenger Carol Portier showcased the dramatic turn of events and the onlookers’ shouts of glee when the dog was pulled aboard. (Below via Boston’s WFXT 25.)


Those aboard the Lovely Day brought the dog into Oak Bluffs harbor where the harbor master had been alerted of the situation. An animal control officer was on-hand to help.

The dog was later reunited with his owners and it was learned he’d gone overboard while traveling with family aboard the SSA ferry Martha’s Vineyard, though it was unclear whether he’d fallen or jumped.

“From my understanding, the family traveling with the dog never saw it going over,” Captain Rock told the Vineyard Gazette, adding that while he’d never before seen a dog swimming in the middle of the sound, he knew immediately he’d try to save it.

“That’s what we’d do for any person, any dog,” he said.