Whale freed by drilling team in Gulf of Thailand

On Saturday six drilling team members at Erawan offshore field spent about 30 minutes cutting a rope tied to the tail of a Bryde’s whale that apparently swam towards the structure seeking help, according to the Bangkok Post.

The rope was believed to have been tied to its tail by fishermen after the whale became trapped in a net, but the whale managed to escape, dragging the rope with it.

The rescue mission’s account was posted on Facebook and drew widespread praise. “Thumbs up for you guys. It wasn’t an easy job,” one commentator wrote.

The platform is about 140 kilometres off the shore of Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

One worker, who filmed the operation, said it took place at 2pm on Saturday, and that all staff members were overjoyed to save the whale.

Whale freed by drilling team in Gulf of Thailand | News by Thaiger

Photo: Nat Panupong Taps

Another staff at the platform said the whale was about five metres long and weighed 200 kilogrammes. The operation took around 30 minutes in rough seas before the team was finally able to cut the rope from the whale’s tail, he added.

Bryde’s whales have been sighted in many areas in the Gulf of Thailand, the latest one about two weeks ago off the central province of Prachuap Khirikhan. The Marine and Coastal Resources Department says the sightings indicate the richness of marine resources in the gulf.

In April, another drilling team from the same company rescued a stranded dog found at sea about 200 km from shore. The dog was later named Boonrod and adopted by a Chevron official working at the platform, who took the pet home with him to Khon Kaen province during his work leave.


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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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