Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Magodoro, Milango ilisaidia Kuokoa maisha katika Ajali ya MV Spice Islander
Lakini sheriza za bahari zinasema kuwa meli lazima iwe na Lifejackets na boti za kutosha abiria kwenye meli! Kwa vilie meli MV Spice Islander ilikuwa na watu wengi kuliko kiasi chake cha kubeba watu 600, hazikutosha! SERIKALI MKO WAPI HAPO?
Survivor: Mattresses, Doors Saved Our Lives
By Judica Tarimo
12th September 2011As the nation enters the second day of mourning the MV Spice Islanders tragedy, one of the survivors, Kassim Abdalah said yesterday that most passengers used mattresses and wooden doors to keep afloat.
According to the survivor, they started the journey at Zanzibar Port around 10.00 pm on Friday heading to Pemba.
“But even before we started the journey, most of us (passengers) were not comfortable with the condition of the ship…the vessel was tilting, something that worried many passengers, including me,” narrated Abdallah, a resident of Kisiwani Kojani.
He said a short distance from Nungwi Bay some passengers started sensing abnormal movements of the ship.
“It seemed as if the ship was sinking… fear and tension gripped most passengers on board,” he explained, adding: “The situation worsened when we arrived at Nungwi Bay after one of the ship’s engines stalled.”
Fearing for their lives, some passengers, especially women, started crying, with others asking the ship’s captain to assure them of their safety, after the engine ceased.
This forced the captain to make an announcement…urging passengers not to panic, saying the ship could still travel on one engine. “According to the captain we would arrive safely despite of the problem. Since we (passengers) are not experts, we believed him, and the journey continued,” he said.
They proceeded with the safari, but when they were some five kilometres from Nungwi Bay, the second engine ceased, shocking everybody and triggering more panic and outcries amongst passengers, as sea water started entering the ship.
“The ship had started to sink, slowly! Every passenger prayed to God for some miracles to save our lives. There was nothing we could do except to pray,” he explained.
“It reached a point when almost half of the ship was covered with water…it is at this point when many children and infants died, as adults, like me, struggled to save our lives,” said Abdallah.
The ship’s captain, assisted by five sailors, threw life buoys into the Ocean, and all of them jumped onto them and started helping other passengers out of the sinking ship onto the rescue facility.
“Unfortunately the rescue facility could not accommodate all passengers, because the carrier capacity of that facility was low compared to the number of people needing help,” the survivor explained.
“Fortunately as we desperately sought ways to save ourselves, we realized that, there were mattresses and wooden doors on top of the ship…they belonged to businesspeople plying between Pemba and Unguja.”
“So, one of us (passengers) threw the mattresses and the doors to the ocean which we used as rafters to rescue passengers. Honestly speaking, these mattresses and doors, saved lives of many more passengers,” he added.
Abdallah said while the rescue continue, a group of 40 passengers, including him had clung to the ship, in anticipation of assistance from relevant authorities and anybody else who might happen.
“No rescue came and the whole ship sunk, taking with it 25 passengers who probably died. I and 14 other passengers used mattresses and doors which were floating on the surface to remain afloat. We held onto the mattresses and doors, for hours---from around 1.00 am until morning,” he said.
While on the Ocean, waiting for help, he said: “We saw an airplane, afar. We raised our hands and water pipes—hoping it would spot us. Apparently noticing us, the plane circled above for a while…before flying away.”
“Not long after a boat come to our rescue. Before helping us out of the water, people on the boat spent sometime, taking our photos,” said Abdallah.
“After this the boat came close to where we were, picked us up and put all of us onto it…in short the mattresses and doors, saved my life and those of many other passengers, in the tragedy,” he concluded.