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Indonesian Fishermen..


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Out off the NW shelf of Aussie working at the moment (to pay marina fees) on a 120 metre Dive support boat, and we got called out to a Mayday.

We have been standing by this Indo Fishing boat for most of the day waiting for the Border patrol to escort them back to Timor. Apparently they were anchored by an island off West Timor when a Cat 3 Cyclone came through. We ran South, and hid in a sheltered bay out of the path,Fishermen, small.jpgcyclone.png but these guys got hammered, broke away from their anchor and got blown out to sea. They have been drifting around for 3-4 days with a split mast. They are engineless as well. The radio is powered by solar panels and only today did they see enough sun to put out a distress call! There are 7 on board, and the boat naturally drifts side on to the swell. All bar two are incapacitated with Sea Sickness. We have given them a sea anchor, sea sickness pills and some supplies.

 

They would have seen 50-60 knots in the cyclone and probably 5-8 metre seas. Tough guys and sturdy boats. Not much Freeboard!! I hope the Aussie Boarder patrol don't sink it. It will be their life blood. Interesting how the other half live.

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Agreed. Apparently there is another one now as well. Same story. Got blown South. We have a few Indos on board and they phoned their families for them to let them know they were OK. Sail only with a rig like that.. Tough buggers.

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Not so much tough, as more like, that's the only way to earn a living for them. Hence the sea sickness. And because they have to, the experience makes them tough.
Wouldn't it change some attitudes here if there was no Social system to fall back on and you either found work or you and your family were on the street starving.

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They are interesting boats and usually good sailors

 

I have some photos somewhere of about 6 of them sailing together ...... quick  and seaworthy little boats and I hope that the Border guys treat them as "rescued seaman" and not illegals.

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They are interesting boats and usually good sailors

 

I have some photos somewhere of about 6 of them sailing together ...... quick  and seaworthy little boats and I hope that the Border guys treat them as "rescued seaman" and not illegals.

Yes, as far as I am aware, they are not being treated as illegals. I asked the same question. They didn't even want any food from us, just seasickness pills and a sea anchor. I thought the crew were a bit mean not throwing in a few packets of Tim Tams.. Better than rotten fish!

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No no BP. It's just that, as I am sure you would agree, there are one or two in our Land that would perhaps have a better appreciation for what they have and their view of "The World owes me" could be challenged somewhat if they had to live like many others around the World.
As Fred Dagg said,
"We don't know how propitious are the circumstances".

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