WARSAW, Poland, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- An exhausted dog stranded on an ice floe in the Baltic Sea in below-zero temperatures was rescued by a passing Polish marine research ship, crew members say.
The vessel Baltica reached the dog Monday, with crew members using an inflatable pontoon boat to get close enough to pluck it off a bobbing ice chunk only a few yards in diameter, The Times of London reported Thursday.
The dog, now nicknamed Baltic, had been spotted floating on the ice in the Vistula River at Grudziadz, Poland, Saturday but firefighters couldn't get to it and the dog made it all the way into the sea, enduring temperatures down to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
"A shape was moving, so we decided to get closer to see if it was a seal," Jan Jochim, the ship's senior officer, was quoted as saying on a video aired online by The Guardian. "As we moved in, we saw that it was a dog struggling to stay afloat."
Another crew member said the dog clearly was in trouble.
"It was obvious that the dog was very weak," second engineer Adam Buzinski said. "He almost went under the surface of the water. So I grabbed the dog and put him in the inflatable and returned to the ship."
One researcher aboard the Baltica, Natalia Drgas, said they massaged, fed and warmed up the dog until it was back on its feet.
"We are happy that the dog is safe and sound hopefully his owner will be found or may he will find a new owner," she said.