|FYI — July 2002|
|By Brad Dunn|
Left the Dog Out?
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."
SHELVES : After the Storm
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.