Sunday, September 01, 2019

30 Year Oceanos Reunion 2021

I posed on Facebook to see if any of the passengers, crew or resuce people would be interested in having a 30 year reunion in 2021, somewhere on the East Coast of South Africa!  So I thought I might put it out there on the world wide web too.  If you are interested leave a comment here with your email address! 


Andrew Pike has written a book about the Rescue of the ill fated cruise ship Oceanos, if you would like a copy please go to his website and order a copy.

I received my signed copy in the mail on Thursday and have recently started to read it, it looks really interesting.

Image result for against all odds rescue of the oceanos

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Information Please

Hi This is a message from Kate Szell on the "Oceanos Survivors & Friends" page on Facebook, maybe someone here may be able to help.

Hello everyone,

I'm helping make a weather documentary that includes a bit about the Oceanos sinking. We've got the OK from NBC to use some of the footage from their documentary but we want to contact those people who actually shot the footage to make sure they are OK with our using it. We've spoken to some people but are having difficulty finding some others.

Does anyone have contact details for the following:
Karen Winter, Piet Niemand, Sandra Palmer, George and Gerda Walton, Anthony Keith Garner and whoever it was who shot footage from the Nedlloyd Mauritius.

If you are one of these people, or know how i can get in touch, please let me know either by reply to this or by email to

Many, many thanks,

Looking for Owners of Film Footage taken when the Oceanos Sank

Hi Everyone,

Please see e-mail I received below and if anyone can help please get in touch with Kate directly:

I’m working for a UK TV production company and we’re making a series of programmes for BBC Earth and Channel 5 about extreme weather events.  We’re featuring a number of stories about British people who have got caught up in extreme weather events and one of our stories is about the sinking of the Oceanos. 
We’ve spoken to a number of people, including Moss Hills, about the sinking and are now looking for people who were filming during the disaster.  We have spoken to NBC and they are happy for us to use footage from their documentary about the event.  However, we wanted to get consent from the people who had shot the actual footage as it is the footage shot by people who were there that we are interested in.   NBC has given us the names of some of the people whose footage they used but they are a bit short on contact details for them.
I don’t know if you have any contact details or if you’d be OK for me to put a post on the Oceanos Survivors & Friends Facebook page?  Also, I don’t suppose you know who filmed the footage that was used by NBC of people jumping off the sinking Oceanos to “swim” to the inflatable boats?  We think the footage was taken by someone on the Nedlloyd Mauritius, but are not certain.
With many thanks for your help.
Kindest regards,
Kate Széll
Archive Researcher
DSP Ltd. Shepherd's Building Central, Charecroft Way, London, W14 0EE
T: 020 74829610 | |

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Greek Hero ...

I get so tired of people stereotyping - Your nationality doesn't make you who you are - so many people have slated the Greeks in my posts on this blog, however I know there are so many Greek sailors that helped out when the Oceanos Sank, and if it were not for these Greek sailors I am sure a lot of lives would have been lost, especially of those who went in the life boats.   Just because the Captain was a yellow Coward is no reflection on his nationality, why a lot of those that jumped ship in the first life boats that were half empty and also raided the cabins were in fact Philipino's and other nationalities too.

So it was so nice to read this story on MSN news this morning:


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Facebook Page

Join our Facebook page to see some awesome new photographs posted by one of the friends of the Oceanos.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Oceanos at the bottom of the Sea

I received an email from Emlyn Brown the other day, if you like me, snf youdon't know who Emlyn Brown is, then Google his name.  While searching for the wreck of the Waratah they came across the Oceanos lying on the sea bed, and he kindly sent me these photos.  They are quite eerie, and I wonder what is inside, would love to get some photos and footage of inside the ship now.    All my lost artifacts still in my cabin on Venus Deck, including my passport, at least 3 bottle of Bols and all my clothes.  I wonder if in 50 years time someone will bring up everything and they will put it in a museum somewhere, I doubt whether I will be around to know.

I haven't had too much time to read all the articles on Emlyn, so I am going to do some research on the Waratah and Emlyn Brown and then do a post as soon as I have a bit of time, however you can always read about it on the net.

Please don't copy these photos without Emlyn's permission:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pictures of the final moments of the Oceanos

I found these photos on Robin Boltman's Facebook and he was very obliging in letting me share them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Radio Show on CBC Radio 1 - January 22nd, 2011

I was privileged to be contacted for an interview on Radio 1, you can listen to myself and Moss Hills being interviewed here:   ...... From about 1:10 (1 hour, 10 minutes)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Captain ... My Captain ...

Seems like another "heroic" captain has emerged from yet another cruise liner disaster, so I guess Captain Yanis Avranis will not be the only captain to have left his vessel with stranded passengers on board, wow the photos from this article of the sinking of the Costa Concordia, brought back so many horrific memories:

Oceanos Survivors & Friends on Facebook

Please join our page on Facebook!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An email from a survivor


I am one of the survivors of the Oceanos in 1991, Robin Boltman, Terry
Lester will recall me , Moss will remember me I was assisting passengers on
the Helipad area,

My friend Suzy Zanoncelli, is listed on the survivor list and mine is not
please add my name to the list,

I do have a query though, I assisted the choreographer for the dancers at
one stage it was around 7am or so, I need his name if possible, he handed
an elderly lady to me of which I managed to assist her from the pool area
to the helipad area,

The Italian Newspaper , La Voce, interviewed both Suzy Zanoncelli and I,
for reference,,,

Kind regards,

Enrico Flavio
Sales & Marketing Manager

If anyone wants Enrico's details please email me.

Southern Air Command - Slivermine

Dear Sir/Madam,

Hereby is I believe an exclusive photo of the operational team manning the Operational Post at Southern Air Command (Silvermine) on the evening of the sinking of the Oceanos. In this photo is a photograph of a Shackleton in the cockpit. Maybe you would like to “cut” that out as they were not used during the S&R.

As you can imagine, that time of night, the Command Centre was manned mainly by skeleton staff. Most of the others were called out away from their braai’s and parties they were having at the time!

Silvermine was in command of Maritime events. I recall receiving a call from the Ops clerk on duty and stating that we have a ship with about 600 people on board and that it was sinking! Well I must say that for a Saturday evening and after a great party, it was thought to be some proverbial joke! However when she said “ Hold on for Colonel Hallowes please”, I thought well here comes the CPO of the navy to have a chuckle! You can imagine by immediate surprise and utter amazement when Col Hallowes calmy pronounced this as a fact!  With hazards on and armed  in the clothes I was wearing there was no hesitation, I still had to pick up a colleague along the way. We arrived at Silvermine and immediately proceeded to task the relevant aircraft and put into place the necessary co-ordination with the Sa Navy (Divers), Army for ground support, Medics etc. I think we left work the following day about 2 hours after the “Oceanos” had sunk. The Tv crew who came to Silvermine to film events as they had unfolded after the sinking were surprised at the enactment. We were not actors. Everything was calm as it was on the night of the sinking. Each person knew what was required of them and we did our work as we had been trained to do in emergencies.

I do not recall all the names here, but here goes;
Front row: (L to R) Maj Van Wyk, Col ……., Col Tiny Hallowes, Lt Col Jinx Botes, Capt Willie Nel.
Standing (L to R) Sgt Piek,Maj Gerry Everard, Capt Erwin Kotze, F/sgt Danie Theron, Sgt Kitley, unknown, unknown,unknown,unknown, Cpl Dumas, F/sgt Ismail Abrahams, F.sgt Johan v.d Berg.
Kate Mathieson not in the photo.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information.

Kind regards,

Ex SAAF employee.

Derek Piek
I.T Department
Safari Cargo Systems

East London Museum

Hi Everyone,

I just received these photos from Paulus Janse at the East London Museum.  I am sure they will bring back memories for a lot of survivors.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I must be 100 next year

I had to share this with all of you, my 7 year old daughter told her friends at school that I was on the Titanic!  I thought that was priceless.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Oceanos Production - GERMANY

As you saw from my previous post we did a shoot for a new production on the Oceanos, well it will be aired on Television in Germany on Friday, here are the details.



The Oceanos item will be broadcasted this up coming Friday, the 3rd of December. It was actually planned for the next episode somewhere in January or February but preponed to this week’s program because it is a strong item.
Although I don’t expect you to receive German TV channels, those are the details: 22:10 o’clock on ProSieben.
If you like, you can check out the program after Friday online via this site
6th episode.

Kind regards,

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Talitha Pezzoni
Redaktion Galileo X perience
Story House Productions GmbH

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm not a celebrity, get me out of here ...

Well I've been speaking to a producer and his assistant in Germany for the last month, they found me on the internet from my blog about the Oceanos.  They were doing a story about the sinking for television and were going over to the UK to interview Moss and Michael, and they wanted to fly me over to London as well so I could be interviewed along with them.  However it was just impossible to try and take time off work and I also had Irene and Candice coming over that exact same week, so I decided that I wouldn't give it a miss.

Then the producer phoned me and said that if I could not get time off work then they would fly to Ireland to Dublin and interview me here, wow okay, and they would fly over on a Friday and we could do all the shooting on the Saturday which meant I did not have to take time off work.

Torsten the producer said they would be at my house at 10 on Saturday morning, well they arrived early I had just got out the shower, so panic panic - anyway I was dressed, and OMG winter had arrived suddenly so it was freezing.  They wanted to go down to the harbor and do some shooting first and then come back to the house.  So I took my car and we drove into town and down along the Liffey, we arrived at one of the passenger terminals but there were all these official looking people who gave us the hairy eyeball.

So off we went to the other side of the bridge and through the Eastlink Toll, and stumbled upon a small rowing & yacht club.  The people there were so nice to us and let us film there, it was great fun but freezing!  Luckily though the sun was shining.  After interviewing me for what seemed eternity, they interviewed Irene - 4 hours later we were still there, neither Irene or I had, had any breakfast so we were starving.

Eventually we headed back to our house after making one stop on the bridge by customs house so they could get some photos, and then home.  I headed straight for the kitchen to prepare food for the masses and then it was interviewing again, while they ate they went through all my memorabilia from the Oceanos and took photos and stuff.

They eventually finished at about quarter to five and by that time Irene and Candice had to rush off to catch their plan, but what a day .... I was exhausted last night and fell asleep just after 9.  At least this time I am getting paid for my troubles.

I forgot to add that the guys from Germany were so nice and made us feel at ease all the time, really really nice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Titanic II

I happened to be watching the Syfy channel on Friday night when Titanic II was on, OMG what a disaster of a movie, low budget with trashy computer graphics, pathetic actors - why would anyone want to make such a bad movie after the blockbuster titanic!

The film takes place in April 2012, 100 years since the sinking of the RMS Titanic. A new luxury cruise liner, the USS Titanic II, has been christened, and is soon to embark on her maiden voyage, on the same route the Titanic took 100 years before.

During the voyage, effects of possible global warming force an island of ice in the Arctic to collapse, and creates a disastrous tsunami that sends an iceberg crashing into the Titanic II, leaving her to the same fate as her predecessor.

Utter Rubbish.

Here is a review from the internet Movie Database to show you just how bad it is

Be warned that this is probably the worst movie ever made. At least it gave a good actor, Bruce Davison, employment. Nice concept, but so poorly made that you understand immediately that the makers knew zero about the 1912 Titanic and cared even less. With an obvious low budget, the movie made use of the 1930's Queen Mary permanently moored at Long Beach, CA. But, 1912 maritime design is very different from 1930s maritime design as was White Star Line, (Titanic), to Cunard Line, (Queen Mary). Shots included the sea wall enclosing the Queen Mary, rust on the railings of this "brand new Titanic II", and red funnels when the original Titanic had yellow funnels, (which they corrected within the movie and then went back to red funnels). Some scenes showed the ship with three funnels, some scenes she had four funnels. One of the best, laughable scenes was the cast running down into the "engine room" with concrete walls!!!? The Titanic II sailed with the name emblazoned on it's bow, then the name was gone, then it was back again? Where were the continuity people? Or could they not afford to employ them. The score even had slight reminisces of the movie Titanic's score in a shameful attempt to piggy-back on the success of the James Cameron movie. Gives new meaning to unoriginal and predictable. Do yourself a favor. Skip this movie. It's not even good trash.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Other passengers on the Oceanos

Are there any readers out there that were on the Oceanos on her journey down to Cape Town, which would have left Durban harbour on the Sunday night 28th of July 1991 and arrived in Cape Town on the Wednesday, who then disembarked from the Oceanos and did not get back on, also passengers who were supposed to board in East London and decided against it, I would love to chat to you, so please email me at oceanos.survivors(at) - indirectly you too are survivors.

More Survivors

I really must ask Ian Uys if I can publish a copy of the Passenger List as he has it in his book here, but I really think that if all of you who are reading this, have not bought the book yet, especially all those survivors - honestly it is well worth reading and in there you will find a list of all the passengers on the ship, on the fateful night of 3rd of August 1991.

I recently received this email from Kerry Kyte who was a fellow passenger, here is the email:

Kevin Crossman
Rita Crossman
Kerri Crossman
Tarryn Crossman
Lindy Trollip
Tracy Trollip
John Hickland
SAmantha Mountford
Darren Mountford
We where all aboard together

I will add these to my own list I have and once completed it, I will publish it.  

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Happy Anniversary to all the "Oceanos Survivors", can't believe that it is 19 years ago that we were all given a second chance on "Life", I know that my 19 years have been filled over and over again with wonderful adventures.  I have to say another BIG THANK YOU to all of those that were involved in the rescue operation that gave us a chance to have a 2nd life, without you we may not be here today!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What happened to Captain Yiannis Avranas

I finished reading my copy of "OCEANOS Survivors Stories" by Ian Uys, and now I can't wait to get a copy of "Standby" by Dick Lord and read the story from the rescuers view.  The book OCEANOS survivors stories was fascinating and I cried several times, especially reading the parts about those that were in the Life Boats and what they had to endure in the dark, how one survivor almost lost her child, were it not for a Chinese lady pulling him back in the boat.  How everyone was getting sea sick, my heart went out to all those people, little did we know what they were going through while we sat and waited for the helicopters.  I think those passengers were more traumatized than most of us, they really are the true survivors even though we are all survivors.  A brilliant book which I will read again and again.

So what did happened to Captain Yiannis Avranas, well in the last chapter of the book, the author tells us what happened directly after the sinking and how the Captain was given another boat to command.  I would say he is probably retired now as he was 52 when the Oceanos sank which makes him 71 this year, so thank God he won't be captaining many more ships, however the mere fact that Epirotiki protected him will be my reason never to sail on any ship owned by them ever again.  There are so many questions unanswered, for example did the Captain know the ship was going to sink?  Why did he put everyones lives in danger by sailing into a Gale force storm?

We read time and time again about disasters like this, rust buckets being put to sea but nothing is really ever done about it.  Next time the passengers may not be as lucky as the Oceanos!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

OCEANOS Survivors' Stories

I was delighted to receive and Advance copy of the book "OCEANOS Survivors' stories" in the post yesterday, actually it was while I was sitting watching the Oceanos production on NBC's website, that the door bell rang.  The post man had a bundle of stuff for me it felt like Christmas, and amongst this was the book from Ian Uys.   He even signed and dated it.

What was more unbelievable was that the book contained my whole story as I wrote it on my Oceanos blog, also majority of the photos that I sent him are in the book too.  So last night I went to bed early so I could read, and by the time I put the book down two hours had past, my story is intermingled with other survivors stories, which makes for fascinating reading as I know my story, but don't really know anyone else's.

My name and my photographs are all over the book and I am first mentioned in Chapter 1, page 1 " Cape of Storms" in the last paragraph and then all over the book, it's weird reading my story in a book.  I have not gained financially from this book, but who knows where it may lead to.

If you would like a copy of the book, you can order directly from Fortress Books, it retails for R195.00 plus postage of R20.00 per book.

Here are the details:
Fortress Books,P O Box 2475,
Knysna, 6570
South Afica
Call or Fax Us at:
Tel (027) 044 382 6805 Fax (027) 044 382 6848.
E-mail us at

For local USA orders contact:
Uys Enterprises

1159 Luthersville Road
Luthersville, GA 30251

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Miracle on the Wild Coast - NBC

I just had a phone call and email from Justin @ NBC in New York to tell me that after many months of getting an Oceanos production together, they will be airing it on NBC tomorrow evening, 23rd May 2010, but here is the email he sent me:
Just wanted to pass along some exciting news. Our Oceanos program, "Miracle on the Wild Coast" is set to air here in the states tomorrow night, Sunday May 23rd. The show is Dateline NBC and we are on at 7pm (1900) EST (for any of your states-based readers.) So sorry about the last minute notice. I just found out myself a day or two ago and it's a bit of a sprint to the finish.
After our airing, most of the show will be available to watch on our website:   ...along with a slideshow and some web exclusive clips featuring more rescuers and survivors whose interviews didn't make the television program. The show, incidentally is an hour-long and reported by our correspondent Keith Morrison.
Here is a clip from tomorrow nights show.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Titanic - the artifact exhibition

There is a Titanic artifact exhibition being held in Dublin, which should be very interesting, I am going to book to see it and then will hopefully post some photos and an account of my visit here.

Just to let you know some information in the meantime, it is being held at The Citywest Event Centre at the citywest hotel, which is located in Citywest, Saggart, Co. Dublin.

You can book through Ticketmaster for this event and for more information have a look at the Titanic artifact exhibition website.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coast - Oceanos

While looking for Videos on the Oceanos on Youtube, I came across this song, it's really good!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Titanic Memorial Cruise

I mentioned the Titanic Memorial Cruise in one of my posts, here is the brochure which you can download about the cruise and the itinerary.  I will have more details here soon.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Lost Ships

If you like websites about ships and especially shipping disasters, I happened to wander across this blog, which was most interesting, have a look if you have a moment:

Monday, March 01, 2010

KykNET Onthou

On M-NET's KykNET on Thursdays at 21:00 a program called "Onthou" is broadcast and on the 11th and 18th of February 2010, a two part production on the Oceanos was shown.  I am waiting for my copy of the show, but would love to have a review on the program from someone who watched it, so if you watched it and would like to write about it for posting here, please do so, you can write it in English or Afrikaans.


I was very honoured today to receive an email from a publishing company, they are in the process of publishing a book by Brig Gen Dick Lord, and asked myself and a few others to give a quote for his forthcoming book.  The book is basically an Autobiography and describes some of the rescue missions that happened whilst he was serving in the SAAF.

On reading the part about the Oceanos rescue mission, only almost 20 years later did it hit home as to what happened while we were sitting on board the Oceanos.  So much credit has been given to the TFC crew who coordinated the rescue on board, so much has been written and was in the news, but so little was said about those who risked their lives to save the almost 600 people on board the Oceanos.

It was incredible to read the story, however I am not going to say too much more here until I have permission from the author and publishers.  But one thing is for sure that my copy will be on order shortly.

Final word, while reading the account of the Oceanos rescue, all the people involved suddenly became personal now, because now I had an idea of exactly what they were doing while I was sitting on deck on the listing ship, and suddenly messages from my guest book became clear, now I know where you all fit it.  I realise that not only do I owe my life to Moss and the team on board the Oceanos, but without those out there coordinating the rescue mission, getting the choppers to come and fetch us I would not be here today, so I thank you.  I have so much more to say on this but will leave it for another post!

Here are some of the extracts from my guest book:

Date 2008-07-06 09:02:14

Hi there. Just thought I would let you know I was the radio operator on watch at Port Elizabeth Radio (ZSQ) and was the one who received the SOS message from Oceanos. I had to query the position given as it put the ship around Graaf Reinet. The ship operator eventually said they were about 6 miles from Coffee Bay so I corrected their position and rebroadcast the message in both Morse Code and R/T channels. I Also passed it onto Port Control East London and Port Elizabeth and the SA Navy in Simonstown. That got the show on the road, resulting in all aboard being saved. The reason she used Morse and not satellite comms was because she was listing so much they could not get their satellite antenna to train onto the satellite system.



David van der Sandt

Date 2008-05-31 03:07:24

What a pleasant supprise to come across such a comprehensive history of the sinking of the Oceanos. I was one of the SANDF medics that flew up from Port Elizabeth to assist. I still a life jacket that my medical team signed. Please forward me an e mail adress so i can send you some pic's


Two different David's by the way!

06:00am I received a call from my Officer in command Captain Green from SAS Simonsberg requesting my students to respond on a rescue mission.

At the time I was working for the SA Navy as Marine disaster management instructor.

I had a full team on call and on that day to do their final practical exam to qualify as a disaster rescue team member. It sure does feel good to read this sort of stories and to know that the training provided by the marine fire training school at that time and the instructors involved paid off and was very successful.

At the time I was the instructor I was Petty Officer Van Wyk.

Thank you for stories like yours and I am glad you came out your ordeal in good health.

This story of yours is my reward for many years of hard work myself and the other instructors at the maritime fire training school in Simons town provided.
Best regards and wishes to you and your family.

G.M Van Wyk (Theo)

I would love to get some emails from the guys who flew the choppers and others that were involved in the rescue operation to put them up on the blog.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Where was it?

This blog had almost 100 visitors today from the UK, there was obviously a program on TV about it, if you watched it please let me know what channel it was on and what is was called.  Thanks a million!!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Blonde on a Cruise ship


All packed for the cruise ship - all my sexiest dresses and make-up... Really excited.

Entire day at sea, beautiful and saw whales and dolphins. Met the Captain today

- seems a very nice man.

At the pool today. Also some shuffle boarding and hit golf balls off the deck. Captain invited me to join
him at his table for dinner. Felt honoured and had a wonderful time. He is very attractive and attentive.

Won R800.00 in the ship's casino. Captain asked me to have dinner with him in his own cabin.
Had a luxurious meal complete with caviar and champagne.
He asked me to stay the night but I declined. Told him I could not be unfaithful to my husband.

Pool again today, got sun-burnt, and went inside to drink at piano bar for rest of day.
Captain saw me, bought me several large drinks. He really is charming.
Again asked me to visit his cabin for the night. Again I declined. He told me if I did not let him have his way with me he would sink the ship.
I was shocked.

Today I saved 2,600 lives. Twice.

Monday, February 01, 2010

New Passenger List

I am eventually getting round to posting a new passenger list with added names, if you were on the Oceanos and your name was not on the old passenger list and you have not previously left a comment on this blog, please email me at oceanos.survivors @ and I will ensure your name is included on the list.

A full list of all the passengers is published in the book "OCEANOS survivors stories" by Ian Uys, I will seek permission to copy it here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Please promote this Blog.

Thank you for visiting this blog, if you have a website or a blog please would you add a link to the Oceanos Sinking website, we would like to get as many people together for our 20 year reunion next year, but I won't be able to do that without your help.

If you know any of the survivors or can put a note in your local newspaper to visit this website please do.  A lot of the survivors no longer live in South Africa, so whether you live in Australia, New Zealand, America, Fiji or where ever, it will help to promote this site.

Thanks a million.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Oceanos 20 Year Reunion - August 2011

If you were one of the passengers on the ill fated Oceanos or were involved in the rescue operation and are interested in attending a 20 year reunion on the Wild Coast of South Africa in August 2011, please send an email to  Depending on numbers and prices we will try to arrange a get together.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Oceanos Miracle

I have just come across this article on : about the Oceanos, which was writtine on the 23rd of September 2009, I have not read the whole thing yet, but it looks rather interesting and as soon as I get a moment I will read it - wanted to blog about it first.