A man's dog that swam to shore started a search by the coast guard for his master who is still reported missing at sea on Wednesday.
Loren Ruden, 52, from Oceanside had taken his boat "Lucky Dog," and his dog, Sadie out boating off the coast of La Jolla in San Diego on Monday. The dog was found in the ocean trying to climb up on surfboards by surf instructor Erik Krammer.
"The dog swam up. It was frantic and desperate from being in the water for quite a time," Krammer told Fox 5 San Diego news.
Luckily, Sadie had her collar with a tag with her owner's phone number on it and Krammer called. Ruden's wife answered and then called the police to report her husband missing.
"We don't know at this point how the dog got back or how far he may have had to swim," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Gawrell told San Diego 6 news.
The USCG crew of a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter found Ruden's boat doing donuts in the middle of the ocean early Tuesday morning. A few hours later they were deciding whether to board the boat or wait till it ran out of fuel.
Later in the day, a boat crew with a federal maritime agency pulled alongside the boat and boarded it and turned off the engine. The vessel was towed back to shore and upon investigating the boat they discovered that one of the life jackets on the boat was missing.
Ruden is a father of three grown children and loves to fish and runs commercial fishing charters. His family has come forward to ask for the public's help in finding him.
"I want the boating community in San Diego to get out in the water and look for him. He's a water man, he's a boater, he grew up in San Diego and he needs to come home," Ruden's sister told ABC 10 news.
Three helicopters and the USCG Cutter Edisto have been searching for Ruden but so far he has not been found.
"The ocean is an unforgiving place so a number of things can happen while you're out there," said Gawrell.