Capt. Chase Hawkinson said he’s seen a lot in his years on the water, but what he found swimming in the Intracoastal Waterway on Wednesday evening caught him by surprise.
He said he'd just finished a tow from 16 miles offshore and was headed to another when he saw what he thought was a person in the water near the jetties.
"I didn’t think it was a dog swimming in the middle of the Intracoastal between the jetties,” Hawkinson said.
As Hawkinson got closer, he realized what he saw swimming was indeed a dog.
“I looked around and there was one couple on the beach," Hawkinson said. "I figured, 'OK, I’ll see if I can go get him and see if he’s theirs.'"
Hawkinson said the dog kept swimming away from the boat, but he finally got close enough to pick the dog up out of the water.
He said he approached the couple on the beach, but it wasn’t their dog.
"No tags, nothing. Just a pretty little Lab,” said Hawkinson. "I guess I’ll hold on to him now and try to find who’s it is. (They can) definitely get in contact with me. They can have their dog back.”
Hawkinson said he will take the dog to a vet to see if maybe it had been micro-chipped, and perhaps he’ll be able to find the owner that way.
Anyone with information on the dog or its owners can contact News4Jax.