‘God saved our son from the calamity’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘God saved our son from the calamity’

Family members of survivors aboard Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise liner that capsized off the Tuscany coast in Italy on Friday, spent a few anxious hours outside the arrival terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Thursday before the survivors started emerging from the arrival terminal at 7pm.

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2012 01:29 IST
Mohamed Thaver

Family members of survivors aboard Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise liner that capsized off the Tuscany coast in Italy on Friday, spent a few anxious hours outside the arrival terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Thursday before the survivors started emerging from the arrival terminal at 7pm.

Among those waiting outside the airport was 58-year-old Ursula Pinto, who had a traumatic experience on Friday night after she learnt about the cruise liner capsizing. "A few minutes earlier my son Pattrick had called saying the cruise liner is sinking. On this second call, however, we could not hear his voice, but people shouting for help. We were screaming out to him on the phone, but could not hear him from the other end. We were very worried,” said Pinto.

Three hours later, after the Pinto family had tried all means to get in touch with their 28-year-old son and were bracing for the worst, their mobile phone rang again. "The call was from an international number, and to much of our relief, it was Pattrick calling in to say that he was safe and had reached the port. He could not talk much, but the fact that he was safe was good enough for us,” Pinto said.

As Pinto was seated at the international airport along with her husband John, their gaze was constantly on the arrival terminal of the airport. “We were praying to god as I believe it is he who rescued our son from the calamity,” she said.

Pattrick, who is unmarried, resides with his parents and two brothers at Kalyan.

Another Indian, 28-year-old Kandari Surjan Singh, who was working on the cruise ship for last three years, said prompt action by Italian rescue authorities helped save a number of people. “We are happy that we are back in our country. But we will go back to join the company as they were very helpful," Singh, a resident of Dehradun, said.

“The Indian embassy was very helpful in providing us Euro 100 each and free airline tickets to fly back,” he added.

(With agency inputs)