Life on the sea can be boring. In many cases you can sit on the water for days and see the same sights and the same sounds. Ask any ship captain, life on the sea can be monotonous.
While most days on the sea are typical, there are times where the unexpected happens. Members of Sri Lanka’s naval team witnessed this firsthand.
The job of the Sri Lanka naval team is to make sure that the waters are safe. They patrol the waters looking for people in distress or people looking to cause distress for others.
There was a day when the naval team was in a ship about 10 miles off the coast when they noticed something peculiar to the water. The waters were deep and cold. So they assumed it was an object that had fallen overboard.
When they got closer, they were shocked by what they saw. It was an elephant navy confused by large, mass and water, but moment they recognize that they all jump overboard. The naval officers didn’t trust their eyesight at first.
They had never seen an elephant in the water. Whales, yes, sharks, yes, elephants! No. Since elephants are not sea-fearing creatures, it was a bizarre discovery.
The navy team assumed that the elephant had been trying to cross a lagoon when the water began to rush in quickly. They believed that the elephant may have been swept up in the water and then carried out to sea.
Fortunately, elephants are pretty good swimmers. They have large buoyant bodies which help them float. They also have long trunks that act as a snorkel. This is how the elephant was able to survive in the water. Although the elephant was a good swimmer, he was getting tired.
The naval crew didn’t know how long the elephant was floating in the water, but they can tell that he was getting warm and distressed. They knew that they had to do something.
The naval team saw the size of the elephant and they realized that they would need some help. They quickly called for assistance. They knew that the elephant that they started, calling jumbo needed help immediately.
It wouldn’t be long before the elephant would become too weak to swim on his own. They decided to call in additional ships as well as the wildlife department.
They thought that it would be good to have animal experts nearby. Just in case there was an emergency with jummo when the second naval, ship and members of the wildlife team rod. They put their heads together and concocted a plan.
They knew how they were going to save jumbo. Since the elephant was far too massive to pull on board any of the ships they were going to need to towing back to the shallow water.
They knew that this was going to take a while, because by the time the rescue mission began, jumbo had drifted even further out to sea. He was much further than 10 miles out to sea by now, since he was a living creature who needed to stay above water to breathe, they had to tow him slowly.
The rescue team knew that it would be a long process, but they had to get jumbo to safety.
The crew slowly towed jumbo all day long. He did his best to keep his trunk out of the water from time to time to get the air that he needed. They could tell that he was becoming more and more fatigued, but they couldn’t give up.
As it got dark the rescue continued. Finally, after towing the exhausted elephant, the crew got him to safety. They got him to the point that was close enough to the lagoon and in shallow enough water for jumbo to walk the rest of the way.
They knew that once he found a safe place that he would likely sleep for hours. When asked about the rescue, a member of the naval team said that it was lucky that they happened to be on a mission in that part of the ocean.
They say that their missions take them to various areas of the indian ocean and they just happened to be in the area where the elephant was struggling to stay alive.
They say that it was indeed a case of being in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, the elephant dubbed jumbo made it safely to shore.
Who would ever imagine finding an elephant out at sea?