A cargo ship bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with about 350 cattle on board sank off the south coast of Oman mid-afternoon last Saturday. The ship was heading to Somalia when it ran into trouble off Sur in the province of Asharqiyah Local media reports the ship may was probably overloaded, causing it to take on water in heavy seas and strong winds.
The vessel was on its way from Somalia to the UAE.
Startled Omani fishermen set down their fishing nets and began to haul in cows, hundreds of which were frantically swimming in the coastal waters. The men’s shock was short-lived, as they soon learned that the cows were survivors of a sunken vessel in Oman territorial waters.
Several grainy pictures appeared on social media and in local newspapers in Oman and Saudi Arabia showing the fishermen with their unusual catch.
“It is the first time in their lives that Omanis caught cows instead of fish in their sea,” said Saudi daily Sada.
Witnesses said all the cows and calves either swam to the shoreline by themselves or surfed ashore, pushed by ocean currents, according to The Times of Oman.
All of the ship’s crew survived but, within hours, the ship was completely submerged. The ship owner is Emirati and while the crewmen were Pakistani, reported Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National.
Remarkably, all the animals, including their their calves made it to shore. Holy cow.