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FYI: July 2002

FYI - July 2002
FYI — July 2002
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: The Dog, On Shelves, and more
• Part 2: Thumbs Down, and more

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• News/FYI Index

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• FWS
 

Who Left the Dog Out?
Stranded alone aboard a disabled tanker in the middle of the Pacific, a 40-pound white terrier was the subject of the largest, most expensive animal rescue operation in history.

After other organizations spent 24 days (and the Humane Society expended $48,000) trying to retrieve the dog, the Coast Guard announced in April that a tugboat had finally rescued Forgea--the salty dog who'd been left adrift more than 600 miles southwest of Hawaii.

"The dog was on deck, and they grabbed it," says Chief Petty Officer Tyler Johnson, a Coast Guard spokesman.

The hound's capture closed an epic rescue mission that began when the 256-foot Indonesian tanker Insiko lost power and communications after an engine room fire. One crew member died in the blaze. On April 2 a cruise ship rescued the 11 remaining crew members but accidentally left behind the captain's canine.

After a TV news report aired in Hawaii on the local news, dog-lovers inundated the Hawaii Humane Society with calls and donations, and the organization launched a rescue attempt. But a series of almost-comic mishaps thwarted its endeavors. First the tanker could not be located by rescuers. Then Japanese fishermen found and boarded the tanker, but Forgea, who has lived onboard since she was eight weeks old, ran and hid below decks. For two days the fishermen tried to find her, coaxing her out with peanut butter, but finally had to give up.

Three weeks later the Insiko drifted into U.S. waters and the Coast Guard was deployed to ensure the tanker, which still contained 60,000 gallons of diesel, would not become an environmental disaster. The agency hired a tugboat to begin rigging operations to stabilize the tanker and allowed its crew to stage one last effort to find the pooch.

This time Forgea was waiting on deck and allowed herself to be put into a Humane Society-approved dog container.

"It's not tax dollars," says Martha Armstrong of the national Humane Society, responding to concerns that the rescue operation expended too much money. "That's what we do, that's what our mission is. Whether it's one dog or a million."

ON SHELVES : After the Storm
If you like chronicles of sea wrecks and survivals, check out John Rousmaniere's latest work, After the Storm. The collection of 12 tales takes you to the heart of nightmarish disasters at sea straight from captain's logs and eyewitness accounts. Ranging from the poet Percy Shelly's fatal voyage in a black squall to the WWII sailors driven insane as their supply ship Pollux slowly broke apart on a rocky shelf, the book puts you on the spot of some of the most dramatic ocean catastrophes in history. Rousmaniere, who almost died in his own 1979 sea disaster, seasons the stories with detailed emotions as only a shipwreck survivor can. The collection is a fascinating mix of heroism and calamity.
$24.95, hardcover. McGraw Hill

JULY
4-8.
The Melbourne Boat Show in Melbourne, Australia. (61) 39328-4855
10-14. The Houston Summer Boat Show at New Reliant Center in Houston. (713) 526-6361
12-14. The Dallas Summer Boat Show at the Market Hall in Dallas. (469) 549-0673 

Next page > Thumbs Down, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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