Costa Concordia: SA couple relive horror


If you want to know how much you love your wife get onto a sinking ship,” Mike van Dijk (54) says.

For this Pretoria man one harrowing night put everything in perspective and made him realise how much his wife meant to him. And for his wife, Narien (52), it was simple: if one of them was going to die, the other would too. All that mattered was being together.

The Van Dijks are among the lucky ones, though. They’ve lived to tell the tale of how they escaped the Costa Concordia as it slipped beneath the waves in one of the most appalling episodes of maritime mismanagement in history.

As many as 32 people may have lost their lives that night – 17 bodies have been found and with little hope of finding the 15 still missing they too are expected to be declared dead.

Now, sitting in the comfort of their son Rinus’ home in Annlin, Pretoria, on a warm summer day – far from the stricken liner lying half submerged in freezing Italian waters – Mike and Narien say they’re battling to sleep as memories of that chaotic night keep flooding in.

Read more in Sulaiman Philip’s article in YOU 16 February 2012.

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