By Reuters Staff

BANGKOK (Reuters) – 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.

A Thai navy officer swims with a rescued cat on his back in the Andaman Sea March 2, 2021 in this picture obtained from social media. PO1 WICHIT PUKDEELON via REUTERS

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.

A Thai navy officer swims towards cats standing on a sinking boat to rescue them in the Andaman Sea March 2, 2021 in this picture obtained from social media. PO1 WICHIT PUKDEELON via REUTERS

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

More on REUTERS
(Reporting by Juarawee Kittisilpa; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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