This catastrophe has a happy ending.
Four cats left aboard a sinking ship are being cared for after sailors from the Royal Thai Navy saved them in a dramatic rescue at sea this week.
The country’s navy and coast guard responded to the site of the sinking fishing boat Tuesday off the coast of the Satun Province at the southern end of Thailand, according to the Royal Thai Navy.
Eight crew members, three Thai and five from Myanmar, had already been rescued. The navy sailors were investigating the cause of the sinking and looking for any oil spill when they noticed the cats were still aboard the sinking vessel, which was then vertical in the water and nearly totally submerged after it had capsized.
“I used my camera to zoom in to the boat, and I saw one or two cats popping their heads out,” First-Class Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon told Reuters.
Photos the Royal Thai Navy shared on Facebook show the cats huddled together, looking wet and frightened.
More photos show one of the sailors wearing a life vest and swimming out to retrieve the cats, giving the animals a ride to safety as they clung onto his shoulders. Other sailors pulled a rope to help him carry the cats aboard their ship.
The navy’s Facebook posts about the rescue garnered more than 15,000 “likes” and thousands of comments praising the sailors’ actions.
The rescuers are caring for the cats at their base on the island Koh Lipe, Reuters reported. Photos the navy shared on Facebook show soldiers drying the cats with a towel and sitting on a table with big bowls of cat food.
“All four cats are well taken care of,” they wrote.