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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 02:41 GMT 03:41 UK
Tanker dog gets hero's welcome
Forgea arrives in Hawaii
Forgea was given a traditional lei to wear
A dog which was rescued after spending more than three weeks adrift on a disabled tanker has received a celebrity welcome in Hawaii.

Carried by Dr Becky Rhoadesa, a vet from the Kauai Humane Society, the dog was greeted with a traditional Hawaiian "aloha" welcome and a red flower garland was draped around her neck.

"It's a delightful end to a long and exciting story," said Pamela Burns, president of the Hawaiian Humane Society, which teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States to launch a $50,000 rescue mission.

The two-year-old white terrier bitch known as Forgea had been left on the Indonesian refuelling tanker, Insiko 1907, when its crew abandoned ship.

Chat show invite

Forgea, whose real Chinese name is Hok Get, appeared calm as she faced a bank of media photographers all eager to snap the now famous dog.

Forgea, whose plight made headlines around the world, is now being sought by American chat show host Jay Leno who wants to fly her to Los Angeles to appear as a guest on his programme.

Forgea (circled) on the abandoned tanker Insiko
The dog had lived on the boat since she was a puppy

But under state law the dog must first be quarantined for 120 days. She will spend the time at the Kauai Humane Society, said spokeswoman Eve Holt.

There she will receive more personal attention than at the state animal quarantine facility on Oahu, Ms Holt said.

After that she is to be temporarily adopted by a Hawaiian friend of her owner the ship's Taiwanese captain, Chung Chin Po.

Ms Burns said she had asked Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano to consider "pardoning" the dog from the quarantine regulations.

Left by mistake

Forgea was a rat catcher on the Indonesian tanker and had lived on board since she was a puppy.

She was left alone on the ship on 2 April, when 11 crew members were rescued by a passing Norwegian cruise ship after a fire disabled the tanker.

The dog was left behind by mistake. Her owner, the tanker's captain, thought she was not allowed on the Norwegian vessel.

Forgea travelled to Hawaii aboard a tug boat hired by the US Coast Guard to tow the Insiko to a safe area to prevent it running aground at a marine nature preserve west of Honolulu.

See also:

27 Apr 02 | Americas
Tanker terrier rescued off Hawaii
22 Apr 02 | Americas
Fishing crew saves abandoned dog
23 Jan 01 | Americas
Spotlight on oil transport risks
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