It may be hard to picture an animal as huge as an elephant being washed away to sea, yet this scary occurrence happens more often than you’d think. As the roaming pachyderms cross shallow ocean waterways, the tide sometimes sweeps in with great force, taking the jumbo creatures along for the ride.

Elephants are highly capable swimmers, but still may have little chance of survival miles out to sea, where they can easily tire before making it back to shore. So thankfully when these two elephants were carried out into the ocean off Sri Lanka, the country’s navy was prepared to help.

Calling the rescue a “mammoth effort,” the navy men used ropes to tow the elephant behind their boat, bringing the imperiled pair safely to shore. The elephants were declared in good health, and returned to their home in the jungle.