On a Tuesday in early March, Thai Navy officers rescued a crew from their sinking boat. The sailors worked quickly to pull the panicked crew to safety – their boat wasn’t just sinking, it was engulfed in flames. Once the immediate danger had passed, the Navy sailors began investigating from afar. The officers began looking for signs of a potential oil spill as the boat disappeared beneath the sea, but as they scanned the water, the sailors noticed something that made their hearts sink. As it turned out, the boat wasn’t as abandoned as they initially thought.
“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 The Daily Mail.
Without hesitation, Navy sailor Thatsaphon Saii jumped into the choppy water. Fueled by the ticking clock and the knowledge that he was the kittens’ only hope of survival, Saii pushed against the water’s current and swam to the smoking boat.
“I immediately took off my shirt and put on a life jacket so I could jump into the sea. The flames were at the back of the boat, but it was starting to sink, so I knew I had to be quick,” the heroic officer recalled.
In one incredible photo, a fiercely determined Saii is pulled back to his ship using a rope, a terrified kitten clutching his shoulders to stay above water. Thanks to the Navy crew’s quick thinking and the bravery of Thatsaphon Saii, all four kittens were brought to safety. Navy officers dried the kittens, holding them tightly both for warmth and to reassure them of their safety.
Miraculously, all four kittens survived the harrowing ordeal. In the purrfect conclusion to a potentially disastrous story, the heroic Navy officers brought their four newest crew-mates back to their command post on the island of Koh Lipe to recover.