US Navy finds puppy five weeks after she was lost at sea

A missing puppy who was presumed lost at sea for five weeks has been found and returned to its owners by the US Navy.

Luna - a one-and-half-year-old German Shepherd - fell overboard from her owners fishing boat off the coast of Southern California on 10 February, NBC News affiliate 4 Southern California reports.

She appeared to be in good health, but a little underfed. Credit: US Navy

Nick Hayward, Luna's owner, said that he had been bringing traps in from his boat two miles off-shore when the dog vanished.

He called a nearby island navy base to report the incident and told officials he thought Luna might attempt the swim to land.

Luna was flown back to San Diego by the US Navy after her adventure. Credit: US Navy

Staff at the base searched the island to no avail. Mr Hayward stayed at sea for two days looking for his missing pet.

After a week, the Hayward's began to lose hope and Luna was presumed dead.

After five weeks, Luna miraculously appeared.

On 15 March, as staff at the naval base arrived at work, they discovered Luna sitting next to the road.

Luna was examined by navy medical staff and found to be malnourised but "in good spirits".

Credit: US NAVY

She was reunited with the Haywards when she is flown back to San Diego on Wednesday.

A family friend, Conner Lamb, met Luna as Mr Hayward was away on a business trip.

Mr Lamb, a family friend, met the dog at the naval air station in San Diego. Credit: US Navy

Mr Lamb, who has worked on a fishing boat with Luna, was ecstatic and amazed she's alive.

Embracing the pup as soon as he saw her, he said:

(It's) just really mind blowing to tell you the truth.

Conner Lamb, Luna's 'crewmate'