A THAI navy officer swims with a rescued cat on his back in the Andaman Sea in this picture obtained from social media.—Reuters
A THAI navy officer swims with a rescued cat on his back in the Andaman Sea in this picture obtained from social media.—Reuters

BANGKOK: Thai navy sailors braved choppy waters to launch a dramatic rescue this week after discovering four cats had been abandoned on a sinking ship that caught fire off a paradise island.

After the crew had been taken to safety on Tuesday, the navy was sent to the site of the capsized vessel to check for an oil spill, but discovered a few crew members had been forgotten.

“I used my camera to zoom in to the boat, and I saw one or two cats popping their heads out,” said First-Class Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon of the navy’s air and coastal defence division.

A sailor in a life vest swam out to the capsized boat, on which four ginger cats were huddled together on a wooden beam.

The rescuer brought the cats to his boat on his shoulder above the water level, with his team pulling him in by rope.

His posts on the rescue received more than 2,500 comments on Facebook on Wednesday praising the crew.

The cats are now being cared for by their rescuers at their command post on the island of Koh Lipe.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2021

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