Monday, November 30, 2009

500kg Cow Saved from the Sea

Yes ... in today's news we read

500kg cow rescued from sea

A SEA rescue operation was launched to save a 500kg cow after it was found floating about in Northern Territory waters yesterday.

The mystery marine bovine was spotted doggy-paddling around in Darwin Harbour during the morning hours.

Rescuers - armed with a life ring and a length of rope - found it in between South Shell Island and the gas plant.

It was reportedly not in a good mood.

Workboats Northern Australia (WBNA) operations manager Ben Wall and his crew had a bit of a struggle catching the surly steer.

"He was sort of heading further away from the safe side of things - heading for the mangroves near the gas plant," Mr Wall said. "He was a bit feisty - the first time the boys tried to lasso it, it got away.

"He would've been under a lot of stress with that ordeal ... treading water for a good few hours until we got to it."

But the farmyard animal eventually returned to the boat to have a life ring fitted over his head - "so it knew we were trying to help", Mr Wall said. They motored slowly back to shore, reaching dry land in about 45 minutes.

The WBNA crew got the distress call from port authorities about 10am, asking if they could organise a rescue effort for the errant hoofer.

By 11.30am the unlikely sea creature was back on terra firma.

Mr Wall said they're not sure where it came from. But it's now resting at Berrimah export yards after one of his mates - cattle exporter Linton Batt - sent out ringers to wrangle the steer when it docked. This is the second time Mr Wall has helped save a soggy cow from the harbour.

"I rescued one a couple of years ago, when they were loading cattle off Fort Hill," he said.

WBNA crews - who usually operate marine vessels for construction and maintenance industry projects - are used to handling some odd jobs.

They salvaged the plane that caused a sensation when it was forced to belly land on mud flats near Nightcliff earlier in the year.

And they've retrieved vehicles out of Darwin Harbour's waters.

Mr Wall likes to joke that it'd only take the train falling off Elizabeth River Bridge, and they could say they've "done planes, trainsand automobiles".

"(A cow is) nothing out of the ordinary," he said. "We'll have a crack at anything."


Old NFO said...

Obviously that steer was heading "somewhere" other than where it had been left :-) And yes, steers (and cows) can swim for quite a ways.

Don said...

"It was reportedly not in a good mood."