Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

For members of the Sri Lankan navy, a routine morning patrol took an unexpected turn on Tuesday when a elephant was spotted struggling to stay afloat after having been pulled miles off the coast by currents.
When naval personnel said it spotted the elephant eight miles from the shore, the animal was struggling to keep just its trunk above the waves as the rest of its body was underwater. Navy divers then tied ropes to the elephant and called for two additional boats to help gently pull it back to shore in what became a 12-hour rescue mission.

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Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

Footage shows naval personnel guiding the elephant toward the coast. (Photo: Caters News)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

The hapless elephant can be seen struggling in the rough waters until a group of navy men come to its rescue. (Photo: Caters News)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

Sri Lankan navy mounted the 12-hour rescue after spotting the elephant struggling to stay afloat around five miles off the coast. (Photo: Caters News)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Navy media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island on July 12, 2017. (Photo: Sri Lanka Navy media unit/REX/Shutterstock)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Navy media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island on July 12, 2017. (Photo: Sri Lanka Navy media unit/REX/Shutterstock)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Navy media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island on July 12, 2017. (Photo: Sri Lanka Navy media unit/REX/Shutterstock)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

Dramatic visuals show the Sri Lankan navy men rescuing an elephant from drowning after a strong current dragged the jumbo deep into the sea. (Photo: Caters News)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Navy media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island on July 12, 2017. (Photo: Sri Lanka Navy media unit/REX/Shutterstock)

Sri Lankan navy rescues stranded elephant miles off the coast

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Navy media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island on July 12, 2017. (Photo: Sri Lanka Navy media unit/REX/Shutterstock)