Thai Navy nabs PETA award for rescuing cats from sinking ship

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Seaman Tatpon Saie pulled the scared kitties off, one by one, sinking their claws into his back as he swam between boats. (File photo)

PETA presented A Hero to Animals Award to the Thai Navy after sailors rescued four cats from a burning, sinking ship in the Andaman Sea.

Photos from the March 4, 2021 rescue show a cat clinging to a sailor’s back as his crewmates pull them to safety—and video footage shows the cats, warm and dry, enjoying a meal and a cuddle at their rescuers’ command post on the island of Koh Lipe.



“These sailors’ courageous and compassionate actions have made a splash with kind people around the world,” says PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA hopes their example will inspire everyone to keep an eye out for animals in danger and do whatever it takes to get them to safety.”

On behalf of the naval officers involved in the rescue, the Thai Navy received a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from PETA.

Hero to Animals Award presented to the Royal Thai Navy.

Baker’s letter said, “On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3.5 million members and supporters, many of whom live in Thailand, I am pleased to present you with our Hero to Animals Award for your role in rescuing four cats from a burning, sinking ship in the Andaman Sea. We hope your kindness will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need.”

PETA also offered to cover the costs of spaying or neutering the cats.

Must read: Thai navy sailors rescue 4 cats from sinking fishing boat

Rifleman Tatpon Saie came to the rescue of four cats stuck on a sinking fishing boat after its crew had already been taken to safety in Satun. (File Photo)
Once rescued, the cats were fed some fish they had become accustomed to eating on the fishing boat. (File photo)
Seaman Tatpon is originally from Tepa, Songkla and has been on duty since May 2019. He is scheduled for honorable discharge in May this year. (File photo)