Dog Rescued After Drifting 75 Miles On Ice In Baltic Sea

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A shivering dog was rescued after floating at least 75 miles on an ice floe down Poland’s Vistula River and into the Baltic Sea, officials said on Thursday. Now the crew members of the Polish boat that rescued the dog just have to figure out who really owns it.Four people have already come forward to claim the animal, but so far rescuers say there has been no wagging tail of joy from the brown and black mongrel they nicknamed “Baltic”.The dog’s frozen odyssey came as Poland suffered through a winter cold snap, with temperatures dipping to below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius).

The thick-furred male dog was found adrift on Monday, 15 miles out in the Baltic Sea by the crew of the Baltica, a Polish ship of ocean scientists carrying out research.Natalia Drgas, a researcher, described the harrowing rescue, saying at one point she feared the dog had drowned.”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,” she said.

At that point, the crew lowered a pontoon down to the water and a crew member managed to grab the dog by the scruff of its neck and pull it to safety.Too weak to shake off the frigid water, Baltic was dried and wrapped in blankets. After warming up, the dog was massaged, fed and soon got on its feet to seek company, Ms Drgas said.

The dog had been spotted on Saturday in the city of Grudziadz, on the Vistula river 60 miles inland from the Bay of Gdansk. Firefighters tried to save it, but could not approach the dog due to shifting ice sheets, an officer told the Associated Press.The Baltica crew, now moored in the port city of Gdynia, have been searching for the dog’s owners, Jerzy Wosachlo, the ship captain, said.

Veterinarian Aleksandra Lawniczak said the 44-pound dog, which she said was about 5 years old, was clearly frightened but in strikingly good shape and had suffered no frostbite.A dog with thick fur and a layer of fat can survive such cold conditions for as long as eight days if it has water to drink, she said.She described Baltic as a friendly dog who was clearly well treated before getting lost.

Mr Wosachlo said the research team is prepared to adopt Baltic if the original owner is not found.


(source)

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