WATCH: Thai Oil Rig Workers Rescue Dog from the Water 135 Miles Offshore

The rescued dog appeared to be growing stronger on the oil rig before he made his journey back to shore.
Vitisak Payalaw

Workers on an oil rig about 135 miles offshore from southern Thailand noticed something stunning in the water: a dog.

The animal swam toward the rig’s platform on Friday and clung to it as team members tried to figure out how to save him, Vitisak Payalaw, an offshore planner for Chevron Thailand Exploration & Production, told NPR.

Video that Payalaw posted on Facebook shows the shivering animal partially submerged in water, staring up at the workers.

Payalaw said he and three members of his team spent 15 minutes working to secure the dog with a rope and pull him up to safety. They were racing against time, he said, because the seas were becoming rougher.

The oil rig workers used a rope to pull the dog to safety.
Vitisak Payalaw

In the first photos Payalaw posted, the dog looks exhausted — “especially on his eyes” — and despondent. Workers provided him with water and pieces of meat on the deck of the rig, and they set up a kennel for him indoors.

They named him Boonrod, Payalaw added, a word that means “he has done good karma and that helps him to survive.”

It’s not clear how the dog ended up so many miles offshore. Payalaw declined to speculate, simply saying it is still a mystery. The Bangkok Post said the pup is “believed to have fallen from a fishing trawler.”

Boonrod appeared to be steadily growing stronger, after eating and napping. After a day and a half, he looked happy and alert — and he was clearly popular with the oil rig team.

Boonrod poses with oil rig workers in the Gulf of Thailand.
Vitisak Payalaw

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SOURCE: NPR, Merrit Kennedy