Cargo crash kills 83, stranded rescuer swims 12 hours
Usually, when offered the opportunity to sail the seas on a freighter, you would be smart to wait until someone offers you a place on a ship built for human passengers. When you have no choice, however, keep an eye out for how many people are filling the ship – lest you end up like the 138 passengers on the ship. Francie.
Monday the France, a freighter not designed to carry passengers, sank off Madagascar. A representative of the country’s Maritime and River Ports Agency spoke to CNN, and gave some details about the accident:
Fifty people were rescued and five are still missing, a spokesperson for the Maritime and River Ports Agency (APMF) told CNN. The boat, which was carrying 138 people, sank late Monday night, according to the APMF.
The ship, a freighter named “Francia”, was not licensed to carry people, the APMF spokesperson said.
The boat was overloaded and water flooded the engine, APMF director of offshore operations Mamy Randrianavony said, according to Reuters.
When rescue helicopters were dispatched to assist the survivors, a Also crashed due to strong winds. This left General Serge Gelle, head of the Madagascar national gendarmerie, with a 12-hour swim to shore.
In one context, 12 hours is about 48 times as long as I have ever swam in my life. The average swimmer moves to about 2 mph in the water, which means that if Gelle swam regularly he would have done 24 miles in one go. That’s over 772 Olympic swimming pool lengths, or just under two Nürburgring Nordschleifes. Caeleb Dressel, the fastest swimmer in the world, would take a further four hours at top speed to cover that distance.
These same high winds halted efforts to rescue passengers from the France. They are expected to resume today, by which time Gelle may well have already made her way to the wreckage and back. However, after such a long swim I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to spend some time on dry land.