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.
On Wednesday, the Navy posted photos of the cats on its Facebook page, saying that their rescuers were taking good care of them. Within hours, the Facebook post had received almost 3,000, hundreds of comments and 700 shares.
The Andaman Sea is a marginal sea of northeastern Indian Ocean bounded by the coastlines of Myanmar and Thailand along the Gulf of Martaban and west side of the Malay Peninsula. Its separated from the Bay of Bengal to its west by the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands.
Meanwhile, after much criticism last year over plans to purchase submarines, the Royal Thai Navy launched the new Facebook page “Thai Submarines” which a spokesperson says is intended to provide accurate information about Navy submarines. Posts on the page outline the history of Navy submarines, including a photo of Thailand’s first submarine which was in service from 1938 to 1951.
The Navy was under fire late last year for pushing to purchase 2 Chinese submarines for 22.5 billion baht. Thailand had already bought a submarine from China in 2017. It’s expected to be delivered by 2023. Many criticized the Navy for focusing on purchasing more submarines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Others say the submarines are unnecessary and will not be useful in the shallow Gulf of Thailand.
Cats Rescued in Adaman Sea