Unintentional Smoke Signals Save Guy, Dog Stuck at Sea
Coast Guard spotted burning boat after man radioed for help
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2015 9:11 AM CDT
In this, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, photo, US Coast Guard cutter Bernard C. Webber is shown off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(Newser) – A man and his dog have a new best friend in the United States Coast Guard, after it picked them up after days at sea, using smoke pouring from their burning sailboat to home in on their position. As WFLA reports, the man's sailboat, which he was sailing from New Orleans to Tampa, became disabled last week, stranding him at sea for three days before it caught fire on Friday. "He contacted us via radio as soon as his situation deteriorated, was wearing a life jacket when he was rescued, and we were able to recover him safely," a Coast Guard rep tells the St. Petersburg Tribune. “There was a lot of smoke and not much left of the boat but it definitely made it easier for us to spot," adds another Coast Guard official. The man and dog evacuated to the boat's dinghy after the fire broke out; "He kept the dog close to his chest," says the latter official.