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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 00:51 GMT 01:51 UK
Fishing crew saves abandoned dog
A fishing crew has boarded an abandoned tanker to rescue a dog that has been adrift on the vessel in the Pacific Ocean for 19 days, officials said.

"They were trying to calm her down," said Martha Armstrong, the vice president of the US Humane Society.

"She's been without company for 19 days, with several flyovers, she's probably really excited."

Ms Armstrong said the crew on board the Insiko 1907 planned planned to bring Forgea back to Honolulu.

The dog was discovered by the US coast guard making an aerial inspection of the ship, 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of Johnston Island.

We saw the dog running from one end of the bridge to the other

Lt Chris Shivery, US coast guard
The vessel has been drifting unmanned since 2 April.

The two-year-old dog was left on board after the Insiko's 12-strong crew abandoned ship following a fire.

The Hawaii Humane Society mounted a $50,000 air-and-sea search to rescue Forgea but the ship could not be found and was presumed to have sunk.

'Very much alive'

The Insiko was rediscovered by the coast guard searching for the ship to determine whether it posed an environmental threat to Johnston Island.

The plane's crew said they had seen a dog on the deck of the ship.

"We saw the dog running from one end of the bridge to the other," co-pilot Lt Chris Shivery told the Honolulu Advertiser.

"Definitely very much alive and apparently fairly healthy," the paper quoted him as saying.

Petty Officer David Mosley said the crew had dropped their lunches onto the boat for the dog to eat.

See also:

01 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
China oil spill as tankers collide
25 Mar 02 | Middle East
Gulf oil tankers 'safe' after collision
07 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Sunken Thai tanker floats to surface
14 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
Toxic spill sparks food fear
26 Jan 01 | Americas
Tanker review after Galapagos spill
23 Jan 01 | Americas
Spotlight on oil transport risks
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