The navy has received an award from a leading animal rights group for rescuing cats from a sinking ship in the Andaman sea in Satun province on Tuesday.
The Hero to Animals Award comes from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group, known as Peta.
"These sailors' courageous and compassionate actions have made a splash with kind people around the world," Peta Senior Vice President Jason Baker said this week.
"Peta hopes their example will inspire everyone to keep an eye out for animals in danger and do whatever it takes to ensure their safety."
The navy will receive a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from Peta, which has also offered to cover the cost of spaying or neutering the cats. The sailors were widely praised after their rescue of four cats from a burning, ship sinking in the Andaman Sea gained worldwide attention.
Photos of the rescue showed one cat clinging to a sailor's back as his crew mates pulled them to safety. These were followed by video footage of the cats, warm and dry, enjoying a meal and a cuddle in their rescuers' command post on Koh Lipe.
Their rescuers came from the Air and Coastal Defence Command Operation Unit 491, who were first alerted to the burning trawler, the Phamonsin Nava 10 near Koh Adang on Monday.
The cats were discovered the day after a navy ship was dispatched to assist the crew of the trawler which caught fire at around 11am on Monday. On returning to the scene on Tuesday morning mewing was heard coming from the prow of the partially submerged vessel by Seaman Thatsaphon Saii.
He was among several naval officers praised for diving in to retrieve the cats which were found clinging to the stricken fishing vessel and taken back to Koh Lipe.