Polish crew rescue dog from ice floe

Here’s a feel-good story to send you off into the weekend: the Polish crew of the Baltica, a ship doing oceanic research in the Baltic Sea, found and rescued a dog that had drifted out to sea on an ice floe.

The dog had been seen 60 miles inland when he floated through the city of Grudziadz, trapped on a thin sheet of ice in the Vistula River. Firefighters tried to reach him, but couldn’t get out to him. He floated all the way to the mouth of the river and then 15 miles out to sea before the Baltica came across him.

The rescue was difficult. As one researcher recounts,

“It was really a tough struggle. It kept slipping into the water and crawling back on top of the ice. At one point it vanished underwater, under the ship and we thought it was the end, but it emerged again and crawled on an ice sheet.”

The crew eventually rescued the dog by lowering an inflatable boat onto the shifting sheets of ice. A crew member in the inflatable (pictured above) managed to grab the dog by the scruff of the neck and haul him aboard.

They have named him Baltic. He is now a star in Poland.

So far two people have claimed him, but upon meeting them, Baltic didn’t show any tail-wagging action. Two other hopeful claimants are still on their way to see him. If Baltic’s owner isn’t found, the research team is prepared to adopt him.

The Guardian has video up of the rescue, complete with footage of a warm, dry dog contentedly resting with his new friends.

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