Boaters rescue dog found paddling in middle of the ocean

A family is grateful for a group of quick-thinking boaters who helped save their beloved dog found paddling in the middle of the ocean near the Florida coast.

The dog named Zuko jumped overboard when no one was looking and got lost at sea, according to the family.

The group of friends, who were on a boat ride about half a mile off the Fort Lauderdale shore, spotted Zuko paddling with no one around

One of the friends dived into the water and pulled him onto the boat, bringing him to safety. They checked Zuko's collar and ultimately returned him to his owner, who had been searching for the dog up and down the coast.

"They saved my little puppy and saved me and my family," said Zuko's owner.

A veterinarian said the dog is doing fine.

"This day was an incredible reminder to keep persevering even throughout difficult circumstances," said Zuko's rescuers. "It also reminded us to keep an eye out for those around us and lend a helping hand when others are in need."

If Zuko decides to take a swim in the sea again, he'll be better prepared. His family says he now has his own lifejacket.

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