Me and the rest of the people on my boat felt guilty because we didn’t help them. After the tragedy the atmosphere on our boat changed, almost all the adults on our boat lost their hope and got sick with diarrhea and couldn’t stop vomiting. None of us could help each other. The situation was intense. I kept steering the boat with help from the brilliant and courageous lady. But nobody knew the nature of the sea and how to sail in the right direction.
ALMOST REACHING LAMPEDUSA
The next day we saw an island in the distance. I told every single person in my boat to empower their beliefs and pray to their gods. Soon after some coast guards showed up in a helicopter, and after a couple of minutes a big ship reached us. Me and all the other people were so happy. We thought the coastal guard would rescue us.
Instead they bombarded us with questions and I told them about all the terrible things that had happened to us, but they didn’t take it very seriously. They threw us life jackets, water and some canned food, and then they told us to keep going towards our destination by ourselves in our boat. I argued that they should take us to their big boat, which is usually used to rescue refugees, but they refused. Instead they gave us fuel and promised to guide us. Fortunately we went the long way to Sicily in our boat without more problems. Europe. The place I used to call heaven on earth. Now I will see if it is.
NEW TIMES | DECEMBER 2014 | ISSUE # 92 | PAGE 7