Bulgarian Ohrid Tragedy Survivor: There Were No Life Jackets

Society | September 5, 2009, Saturday // 17:40|  views

Divers are continuing the rescue efforts in the Ohrid Lake several hours after the ship accident. Photo by EPA/BGNES

A Bulgarian survivor of the Ohrid Lake tragedy has said that the Ilinden ship which went underwater did not have life jackets for the people on board.

"At one point the ship made a sharp turn and overturned. Everyone tried to save their lives with whatever they could grab - there were wooden boards float, several life-floats. The ship was not equipped with life jackets for everyone, there was no such thing," the Bulgarian survivor identified only as Ivan told the Bulgarian National Radio in a phone call from the hospital in Ohrid, Macedonia.

The man, who does not know how to swim, managed to save his life by grabbing a wooden board until his wife and three other women, who were holding one of the few available life-floats, swam to him, and helped him grab the float as well. During that entire time, Ivan was holding another woman saving her from sinking.

They were saved by a rescue vessel whose crew threw a rope to them, and pulled them on board.

The Bulgarian survivor said there had been only Bulgarian tourists on board of the Ilinden ship; only the crew and the tour guide were Macedonian.


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Tags: Survivor, Ohrid, Ohrid Lake, macedonia, life jacket, ship, sunk


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