BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – The Cureton family came down from North Carolina to spend  4th of July weekend in Bluffton, but when they headed out to watch fireworks on their boat at Alljoy Landing, they  left the dog at home and when the fireworks went  off, so did their dog Chelsea.

“She’s not just a dog, she’s a member of our family,” said Sheri Cureton

They passed out nearly 800 flyers by foot and posted on every possible social media page…

But two days later, Chelsea, their 10 month old Australian shepherd, was still missing.

“There were no clues that came in, nobody called and said they saw her…” said Robert Cureton.

The last flyer they passed out was to Trip Sloan in his driveway.

“I was cleaning my boat to put it in the water and personally handed me a flyer for their lost dog,” said Bluffton resident Trip Sloan.

He headed out on May river and spontaneously decided to go to Dafuskie Island.

“Instead of taking the shortcut to Dafuskie, just a higher power had me go in a different direction and so we came up the May River and took a right into Bull Creek,” Sloan said, “And over to the left out of my peripheral vision I saw an object… something in the water.”

He immediately thought it was a crab buoy with grass wrapped around it.

“Got a little bit closer looked like it may have been a hurt bird in the water… as we got up on top, it turned around and made eye contact with Chelsea.”

She had wandered from her family’s dock, three miles out and high tide had stranded her in the water.

“I grabbed Chelsea,” he said, “Pulled her up into the boat and I had my dog Callie with me, and Chelsea collapsed on the boat in sheer exhaustion.”

Callie laid down next to Chelsea to comfort her as Sloan called his wife.

“I said you have got to get me that number off of that flyer! I have found Chelsea,  she was in the middle of Bull Creek swimming!”

When he dialed the number, Sheri Cureton was on the other end. It had only been about an hour since they had handed him the flyer.

“He said are you the people looking for the dog? And I said yes we are…. and he said I found her, I’ve got Chelsea,” Cureton recalled.

Sloan brought Chelsea back to her family’s dock, and to this day he describes that day as, “the true epitome of divine intervention, I truly believe that.”