01/15/16: Pulled from my bunk at 11.45pm, by the sound of the 2-way radio next to my bed, crackling to life. One of the MOAS crew, on watch up on the bridge, saw a ping on the radar that went fast and then stopped – he raised the alarm and within 20 minutes we were at the scene. Screams from the dark, the odd flash of a reflector on a life jacket, an overturned white speed boat, with a blue hull. Old men, women, and children were hauled and pulled, their heaviness (not just from the weight of the water, but the weight of children strapped onto their mothers), onto the FRDC. We plucked and pulled, responding to yells from the void.
All came home alive and safe (to the Topaz Responder), except for three babies, who had already perished before we reached their capsized boat… one mother lost two.
A sad night on the front line.