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‘The scene was scarier than Titanic’

After a six-day relentless wait, the Kadam family heaved a sigh of relief on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Jan 21, 2012 01:25 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times

After a six-day relentless wait, the Kadam family heaved a sigh of relief on Friday.

Their son Mayur, a professional photographer and a crewmember on Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia that capsized off the Tuscany coast last week, reached his Kalwa residence around 6am.

Recounting his ordeal, Mayur said, “I had finished my day’s shoot with the captain and was working in the photo studio with a client. At 9.45pm, the ship tilted and the lights flickered. We were clueless as to what was happening.”

“We then realised that the ship was near a mountain and the coast was 3km away. The ship had tilted by about 60 degrees. We went to the upper deck and waited for captain’s order. After an hour, we heard him shout ‘abandon the ship’. There was a life raft but no one to manoeuvre it,” said Mayur.

Finding life jackets and boats led to chaos. “The scene was scarier than in the film Titanic. Suddenly, we heard cries of two of our crewmembers — a South Korean girl and an Italian man. Both were stuck in the lower decks and were in water.”

Mayur and his friends couldn’t find a rope to reach the two. “We found a hose pipe. Holding it the girl tried to reach my hand. But, she slipped and fell 30feet down. Her leg had broken and there was blood all around. I can never forget that visual.”

Finally, with the help of an American, Mayur managed to pull the duo up. “Around 4am, we finally got a boat and reached the island of Giglio. We were ferried to hotels in Grosseto by 6am.”

Unlike the other embassies, Indian embassy officials were nowhere in sight at the hotel, he said. “When we called them, they said it was their holiday. So, we will have to visit the embassy office. Later, I think with pressure from all quarters, we got help from them.”

With this experience, Kadam said he has no plans to go on another cruise liner anytime soon. “But it was good to see people stepping forward to help.”

For his family, Mayur’s return has brought smiles back on their faces. “I am elated. I don’t want anything else from life now,” said his father Motiram Kadam.

First Published: Jan 21, 2012 01:24 IST