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New Hampshire rescue reveals how dog PFDs help keep everyone safe

If you're taking a dog to sea, you should add a canine PFD to your safety gear list. And it's not just for your pet's safety. As a recent rescue near the New Hampshire coast reveals, knowing every living creature on board can float can help a captain focus on taking other necessary safety measures.

Last weekend, the Coast Guard and a local fire crew rescued men and a dog named Gauge about three miles from Hampton Harbor. The lobster boat, Patricia Lynn II, alerted the Coast Guard that the boat was taking on water late Saturday evening and the bilge pump had stopped working.

With rough seas, 30 mile-per-hour gusts and water crashing into the boat, the lobstermen needed to respond quickly. The captain and mate put on their own survival suits - and made sure Gauge had his lifejacket on, too. That way all three of them could swim to safety if necessary, the captain told Maine TV station WGME.

The men attempted to dewater the boat with buckets until the rescue crews arrived with dewatering pumps and were able to escort the boat safety to harbor. The Coast Guard is currently investigating what caused the boat to take on water.

The fishermen responded well to the incident, a Coast Guard command duty officer, said in a press release. Since the crew's safety gear meant they would have a good chance for survival if any of them went overboard, they were able to "actively work to work to dewater their boat until help arrived."

And that goes for the dog as well. Assured that the dog, too, could make it if they had to abandon ship, the fishermen could focus on the tasks at hand rather than worrying about how the dog would fair if the ship capsized or sank.

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