Malaysian survivor shares her story when the boat capsized in Red Sea
Last week, Egyptian naval forces saved nine Malaysian and eight local tourist from their broken boat off the northern Red Sea. The boat was located 35 nautical miles southeast of Safaga Island in the Red Sea and there were 17 Egyptians and Malaysians. There was a search for an Egyption who was missing at that time.
There was a Malaysian survivor, Vivieen Lee shared her story and experiences on her Facebook account. With her permission, this is what she wrote on her Facebook post.
I’d never thought this would be the next adventure of mine happen. Our ship in red sea sunk.
I am pretty sure the incident happened it’s not due to bad weather as reported. The yatch is old and lack of maintenance. Crew are lack of basic SOS knowledge and not fully equipped with life saving tools.
10pm – Most of the people are asleep. We noticed the ship is heeled one side, rather heavily.
11:30pm – The ship captain wakes everyone, and commanded us to gather at the dock.
11 – 12pm – the situation is chaotic. The sailors and crewmen run around frantically, yet we receive no news about the ship sinking. The only thing we are told is everything is alright by our PIC but he returns our passports to us at the same time. The ship is heavily heeled to the left side and there is no way to further sail under this condition. The sailors start to throw all the life jacket in the middle of the dock, but only half of the people can fit into the life jackets, and none of the them are in good condition. The rest of the people have to use diving suit to save themselves. There are even some crews who hold on to a barrel.
12 – 2am – We jump off the ship and wait for rescue in the midst of the sea, floating. I am thinking of the worst possible situation since it’s almost impossible for people to notice us in the vast red sea. I am looking at the stars thinking my insurance should be able to allow my mom to live comfortably, and I’m thinking what are the things I’ve been wanting to do but yet to find the chance in my life. (take note i am not repenting at this moment) If I survive this, I’m gonna buy lottery.
2-4am – We see some light. Everyone starts shouting and turns on our lights. It slowly approaches us. At this moment, I don’t have to strike the jackpot to understand the feeling of getting it. Everyone is beyond excited. But what happens next is unforgettable. I witness the degree of desperation human shows just to survive. Thank God all 9 of us waited orderly to be rescued. The whole process was savage. Climbing up a three-storey ship in a treacherous sea. But once you grab their hands, they’ll surely pull you up. I can only say that in order to save yourself in such situation, you should exercise more often. It wasn’t over yet. Someone caught my attention. I heard the crewman holding on a barrel yelling for help. I kept urging him to swim over but I was helpless as I saw him drifting away and farer, until I lost sight of him. His hopeless eyes can never leave my mind. Maybe thing would be different if I was courageous enough to throw a swimming ring or a rope tied on myself to him. But there isn’t ‘if’ anymore. Until now I avoid looking at Egyptian boy for I am afraid I might see someone similar, and I can’t stop crying.
4- 8am – A cramped space for 16 of us. Most of us couldn’t hold it and vomitted. After 6 hours, we safely arrived at the harbour and paramedics came to us to dress the wounds.
Now, I have all the right to say, I’ve sailed through the treacherous sea and survived, literally.
It has been 48 hours since the accident happened. I am left with a wet passport but we will continue the journey for I have lost everything so I got nothing to lose.
Why are we sharing this story?
Coincidently, we were traveling on a 4 Days 3 Nights cruise from Port Klang to Phuket, Penang and back to Port Klang earlier this month. We were traveling on Star Cruises Superstar Libra and we remembered that the safety crews had to make a compulsory safety briefing for all passengers. Everyone on the cruise must gone thru the safety briefing which include how to wear our life jacket, how to listen to distress signal and where to meet if there is an incident.
We often take all this safety briefing for granted so when you are either on the plane or on the cruise, make sure you understand the safety procedures as it will save your life.
Thank you, Vivieen Lim for sharing her real life experience in the Red Sea. Hope you have a safe journey and safe travels around the world.