A family are overjoyed after their pet dog was rescued by a pilot boat after being swept out to sea in Nelson.
Ruby, a six-year-old border terrier, was found about two kilometres away from where she entered the water.
Mike Gafa told Stuff his dog often swims at Tahunanui beach, but on Sunday she was caught in a tidal rip while playing in the water.
"I turned to my wife and said to her 'she's not coming back, she can't swim against that'," he said.
Luckily, a Port Nelson boat crew were able to search for Ruby and return her to her owners "visibly shaken up".
Mr Gafa told Stuff he was "prepared for a dead body at any point"
Nelson harbourmaster David Duncan said he believes it's the first time that the port has helped to search for an animal.