Friday, July 06, 2007

Message from another survivor

My name is Mignon Knoetze and I am a survivor of the Oceanos. I was working for South African Airways at the time. A lot of my friends and colleauges where on the Oceanos with me. I got onto the last life boat to leave the Oceanos. Being launched was very traumatic because of the weather but only the beginning of a long cold and frightening night. The life boat was ill equiped for our needs. During the night we tried to board one of the many ships trying to rescue us but because of the bad weather we could not even get close. We where on the life boat until it started getting light. At first light we heard an aircraft flying overhead. The nearest ship to us was the Great Nancy which was a huge oil tanker. The weather had not improved much so when we tried to approach the ship the life boat slammed into the side of the ship and we all nearly landed up in the propellor. We where all hauled up the side of the ship by the crew of the ship using ropes. The crew where wonderful to us and they did everything to make us comfortable with their limited resources. We sailed to Durban on the Great Nancy overnight. We where taken to a rescue centre where we where given something to eat. We where also allowed to make a phone call and checked by doctors before going to a hotel to clean up before being flown home via Johannesburg to East London. My parents and I where on the front page of the Daily Dispatch newspaper in East London. My brothers Etienne and Eugene where a great support to my parents while waiting to hear if I had survived. I would like to mention some other survivors that I do not see on your list who worked for or who are still working for South African Airways in East London. Eugene Sweetnam who has since passed away, Trevor Godden, Leeanne Strauss, Natalie Measures now Du Plessis, Andrew Montfort, Glen Hurn, Kevin Putzier, Merril Binneman

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