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Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction: Biography & Autobiography / Biografie & Outobiografie

Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction  -  Biography & Autobiography / Biografie & Outobiografie
R 260
It was a dark and stormy night in 1991 when a magician took over the bridge of the Oceanos, an ageing passenger liner travelling up the Wild Coast. The captain was nowhere to be found.

The ship started taking in water in the auxiliary engine room just a few hours after it had set sail from East London. Panicking, the crew scrambled into the lifeboats, leaving passengers largely to fend for themselves.

The ship's entertainment staff bravely started to calm passengers and coordinated the abandon-ship operation and rescue effort. Lifeboats were launched in waves of several metres high and mothers with children and the elderly were given first priority. When they ran out of useable lifeboats 230 passengers and junior crew were left stranded on board the listing and rapidly sinking ship.

The South African Air Force then launched their biggest air rescue ever, with helicopter crews and Navy divers risking everything to evacuate the remaining passengers. One by one the passengers were airlifted off the ship - one of the first was Captain Yiannis Avranas, who was universally condemned for his lack of leadership. Eventually all 571 people on board were rescued in what to date remains one of the greatest maritime rescues in South African history. The story of this dramatic rescue, which made headlines across the world, is told from the perspective of all the key role players and describes their extraordinary heroism.
It also explains how the investigation into the loss.
Publication date: 2019-07-20

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