Couple recall 30-hour sinking ship nightmare

2012-01-16 07:37

Seoul – A South Korean honeymoon couple have described their 30-hour nightmare trapped in a wrecked Italian cruise ship, saying they screamed for help for hours after waking up too late to evacuate the vessel.

The couple were rescued yesterday morning after being stranded in the half-submerged ship, where a search for people still missing out of more than 4 200 originally on board was underway.

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than a dozen are still missing after the Costa Concordia hit rocks off Italy’s west coast on the evening of Friday, January 13.

Prosecutors have arrested the captain and first officer for alleged mishandling of the incident and neglect of duty.

Han Ki-Deok and his wife Jeong Hye-Jin, both 29-year-old schoolteachers, said in an interview with South Korea’s Yonhap news agency published today that they had been sleeping after dinner, oblivious to the disaster outside.

“By the time we woke up, the ship was tilting,” Yonhap quoted Han as saying in a hotel in Rome.

The couple ventured out to the corridor, which was already inclined so steeply that they couldn’t walk on it, he added.

“We ended up slipping towards the end of the corridor and even got ourselves injured,” said Han.

So the pair stayed in their dark cabin with no power, subsisting on bits of cookie and water. They took turns wearing an extra life jacket over their own lifevests to fight the cold.

They shouted for help until they were hoarse and blew whistles attached to the lifevests, promising each other they would “have a good life together” if they escaped.

“The room was pitch dark. We could only tell whether it was day or night outside through a ray of light coming from a small hole on the wall,” said Jeong.

They tried to consume as little food as possible, worrying they “may have to be here for quite a long time”, Jeong said, adding she felt “a life’s saviour” had arrived when rescuers found them.

The pair were taken to hospital for checkups. South Korea’s foreign ministry said they are in good health.

The couple, the last among 34 South Koreans rescued from the ship, said they now want another honeymoon –but “never a cruise tour”.
 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.