KOTA KINABALU – Emotions ran high as five sailors aboard Royal Malaysian Navy fast assault craft CB204 arrived at the Sepanggar naval base safely after spending 80 hours at sea.
Skipper Lieutenant Azri Bakar who was first to come out of the assault craft was greeted by his wife Lt Commander Fazilah Makun, also a naval officer, with a hug and shed tears of joy at the jetty here.
The others who were also greeted by their family members and their Naval Region Two counterparts were petty officers Ince Evin and Nor Azuan Ariffin and leading rates Sulhajji Daah and Mohd Azhry Maani.
They were among a crew of seven who ran into trouble after the assault craft stalled because of engine failure and steering problems on Sunday at about 11.15am.
The crew had thereafter drifted in rough seas before being rescued 32 hours later and about 170km away from where they last made contact.
As the assault craft was being towed back, two crewmen fell ill and was airlifted by navy Super Lynx helicopter yesterday for medical treatment. They were Chief Petty officer Charles Christopher Mani and Petty officer Steve Hudson.
Azri said from the moment they ran into trouble he made it a point to stay calm and kept his charges alert by reminding them of their loved ones.
” It was a real challenge but I thank God we made it back to shore.”
His wife Fazilah who is eight months pregnant with their first child too said she knew the crew would keep their composure and overcome the obstacle as they are trained to stay calm in whatever situation in the navy. – NST