Couple tell of 30-hour cruise ship nightmare

2012-01-16 09:10

Seoul - A South Korean couple on honeymoon 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 on Sunday 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 the 13th.

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

Ship was tilting

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 on Monday 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 life-vests to fight the cold.

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

‘Not another cruise tour’

"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 [in] 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".

  • Piet - 2012-01-16 09:20

    Where they trapped for weeks? "subsisting on bits of cookie and water." The quality of News24 articles suck!!!!

      Brenda - 2012-01-16 10:33

      Read headline Piet - 30 hours

      wcslater - 2012-01-16 11:00

      Where does it say weeks in the article??

  • DieSeL - 2012-01-16 09:45

    Forget the fact that the ship may be sinking, its too dark, lets just wait in our room... wtf?

      Jayne - 2012-01-16 09:59

      If you read the article Diesel, the ship was tilting so much that they could not get out, but kept sliding down!

      MWF - 2012-01-16 10:58

      It is not tilted THAT much and if you've ever been on a cruise liner you would see this as sheer stupidity. 1. the alarm that sounds is LOUD, sleeping through it, they must have been drunk. 2. at 45 deg tilt when your life is in danger, believe me those corridors pose no problem for any normal "29 year old"

      larisha.toffar - 2012-01-16 11:08

      They were sleeping after supper, they obviously awoke after the ALARM.. Why do innocent people always get into such situations but the big mouthed people always stay behind to post such childish comments?

  • RobertaKeeling - 2012-01-16 10:29

    And where was the Captain? He had abandonded ship while the going was good. What happened to the norm that a captain is always the last to leave the ship after every soul on board has been rescued? And if unavoidable go down with his ship? Bunch of cowards!

      Michelle - 2012-01-16 10:55

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

  • Hendrick - 2012-01-16 10:57

    what a scary event. im happy for those who made it. my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. maay their souls rest in peace

      larisha.toffar - 2012-01-16 11:11

      Hendrick I appreciate reading sincere comments. I feel the same. Can't more people see past all the nonsense, Peoples lives were lost. RIP

  • Raeez - 2012-01-16 12:37

    Sleeping after dinner and they on Honeymoon??? Some Honeymoon that

  • kkekana - 2012-01-16 13:53

    while i was thinking of cruising this year end, this is what i hear....the thought DELETED permenently....foooshoooo...gone

      Henk - 2012-01-16 14:33

      No,go. Just make sure the captain is not an Italian.

  • stevefortuin - 2012-01-16 14:15

    Surely if "the corridor which was already inclined so steeply that they couldn't walk on it" they would have fallen out of bed while sleeping??? Me thinks these guys were actually doing some dancing below deck... Just like Jack and Rose in titanic....

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