And finally, nearly three weeks ago, the captain of the Norwegian Star sighted a crippled tankerfloating without power in the South Pacific. A fire had killed one of the tanker's crew, injured others, and left the ship without radio communication and in danger of sinking. At considerable expense and inconvenience to the Star's Hawaii cruise passengers, the captain diverted the cruise ship to rescue the stranded crew. In the haste and confusion, the tanker captain's dog, Forgea, was left behind.
Upon hearing the news, the Hawaii Humane Society mounted a $50,000 rescue operation to locate the tanker and rescue the dog, but rescue boats returning to the scene found no trace of the tanker, which was presumed sunk.
This past weekend, a US Coast Guard plane spotted the tanker again, now adrift 400 miles from Kauai, and were amazed to see Forgea scurrying across the top deck. They flew low over the shipand dropped their bag lunches onto the deck, presumably the dog's first food in 19 days, and alerted ships in the area to the tanker's position. Within hours, the crew of a fishing boat boarded the tanker and rescued Forgea, now renamed the "Miracle Mutt". MM is enroute to a hero's welcome in Honolulu.
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
Turns out the reports were premature. When they got onboard to rescue the dog, she got scared and ran off. They think she ran below decks, and they weren't able to find her. She wouldn't come when they dalled, and as of this moment, they don't know what's going to happen to her.
HONOLULU (AP) -- Forgea's not so sure she wants to be rescued.
Fishermen sent to retrieve the frightened dog left alone for almost three weeks aboard a burned-out tanker tried to coax the 2-year-old mixed breed terrier Monday with peanut butter, using the Mandarin phrase for "Come here," a salvage company spokesman said.
Crew members from two fishing vessels that reached the tanker Insiko 1907 on Sunday boarded the derelict ship, but Forgea, who spent 19 days without company after the tanker's crew was rescued by a passing cruise ship, keeps scampering away, said Rusty Nall of American Marine Corp., the company hired to find the ship and rescue the dog.
"She keeps going down below decks and hiding," said Nall. "The crew can't go down below decks because of ... the condition of the ship."
A fire had killed one Insiko crew member and destroyed parts of the ship.
"Forgea has been alone for nearly three weeks, so it is natural that she's a little wary of the rescuers," said Hawaiian Humane Society President Pamela Burns on Monday. An announcement said the society is confident that Forgea would be taken aboard the fishing vessel later in the day.
Plans were to bring her to Honolulu when the ship returns next week.
Burns expressed thanks to the fishermen, adding "We are also thankful to all the people in Hawaii, the United States and the world who have expressed their support for this effort."
Forgea's owner, the Taiwanese captain, and the Chinese crew of the disabled Insiko were rescued by the Norwegian Star south of Hawaii on April 2. The Indonesian tanker had been without power or communications since the March 13 fire that crippled the ship.
The dog was left behind, and the Hawaiian Humane Society launched a $50,000 effort to save it. The ship was found on Saturday, 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Johnston Island in the south Pacific. The island is 825 miles (1,325 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu.
I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this :o(