135 miles from land, oil rig workers save dog lost at sea
Of all the things workers might see from an oil rig in the middle of nowhere, a dog swimming for its life might be pretty low on that list. But that’s exactly what a group of workers found Friday about 135 miles south of Thailand.
A story by National Public Radio (NPR states the dog swam to the oil platform and perched itself there, staring at the humans while sitting half-submerged in the chilly water while shivering.
Vitisak Payalaw, who’s an offshore planner for Chevron Thailand Exploration & Production, said on CNN that the crew extended a pole toward the dog, hoping to make contact and bring him onto the platform. It didn’t work.
"I thought that if we didn't move quickly, I would not be able to help him," Payalaw said. "If he lost his grip, it would be very difficult to help him."
Payalaw said in the NPR report that seas began to get choppy and a little rough while he and other team members grabbed some rope to fashion a rescue device, and it took them about 15 minutes to get the pup aboard.
The dog was fatigued and waterlogged, but his road to recovery just began when getting brought onto the platform. Crew members set up a makeshift kennel on the platform, and the gave water and pieces of meat to the pup they called “Boonrod,” which means “the saved one” or, according to NPR, “he has done good karma and that helps him to survive.”
Boonrod’s journey into the Gulf of Thailand still remains a mystery, but the oil platform workers suspect the pup was on a fishing boat and landed in the water by fall or accident.
Payalaw said Boonrod got naps and food, which started him regaining nourishment by the time they got him to dry land.
Boonrod is now in the hands of a dog rescue facility in Thailand’s Songkhla province, and that the dog’s spirits have elevated since getting round-the-clock care.
And Payalaw said he isn’t done, as he intends to adopt Boonrod once his rotation on the rig completes at the end of April.
Photos from Payalaw can be seen on his Facebookpage. Photos of Boonrod on land can be seen here on Watchdog Thailand’s Facebook page.