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UNDER 100 FEET

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Usually Waking up and going to the bathroom is annoying. But on November 27, 2001. Waking  up and leaving his bunk to use the bathroom in a tugboat was a decision that saved 25 years old  Reddy Lathik Kumar’s life. Through an odd twist of fate, Lathik ended up being the lone survivor  of a boat sinking at sea. 

The Gulf of Manner in the Southeast Indian Ocean is rich in fishing. Many offshore fishing  Harbors are there in the Coramandel Coast region. On November 27, 2001. About 30 miles (48  km) off of Tamil Nadu. In the Laccadive Sea, three tugboats pitched and yawed into the sea for  fishing. After all their fishing was done, they were returning towards the shore. Then one of the  tugboats named William-04 was caught by a large rogue wave and capsized, On that days  because of ongoing security problems in the Gulf, According to the Security Protocol on the  tugboat was that the 12 man crew would lock themselves in their rooms when sleeping.  Unfortunately, this Protocol rule slowed down William-04’s crew when they tried to escape.  The crew members had to first scramble out of their cabins, that is except for the vessel’s cook  Lathik. Who had gotten up to use the bathroom in his bunk. When the tugboat keeled over and  the ocean rushed in, Lathik had to force the bathroom’s metal door open against a wall of  water. The pressure of the water was extremely strong and Lathik was unable to follow some of  his colleagues to the emergency hatch. He watched in horror as a surge overwhelmed 3 crew  members and swept them out of the boat into the raging sea. Then the water pushed Lathik  down a narrow hallway into another bathroom which adjoined on officer’s cabin dazed and  bruised, but miraculously still alive. Lathik held on to an overturned washbasin to keep his head  above water in the four square foot bathroom. The boat sank nearly 100 feet (30 meters)  eventually coming to rest upside down on the seabed. When the tugboat capsized, there was  an immediate rescue operation launched with other boats in that area and a helicopter too. A  diving crew quickly located the wreck and marked the location with buoys. They banged on the  wall; Lathik hammered back, But they could only stay at the depth of the wreck for a limited  period of time. The rescue was called off due to no evidence of survivors, after nearly a day of  being in the bathroom Lathik got up the courage to leave his little air pocket. In pitch darkness,  he swam and felt his way into the engineer’s office. Miraculously there was another air pocket  here too, of about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high in Lathik’s estimation. Having solved the immediate  problem of having air to breathe, Lathik could focus on other concerns. The first one being that 

he was cold. Lathik was shivering, wet, and wearing only boxer shorts, Lathik faced  hypothermia, or his body losing heat faster than he could produce it. Cautiously Lathik felt his  way around the cabin he found some tools and used them to strip of wall paneling with a  mattress and the material from the wall, He was able to make a platform to sit on. This  platform helped Lathik to stay afloat and lifted the upper half of his body out of the water  allowing him to reduce heat loss. 

Hungry, Thirsty, Cold, and Stuck in complete darkness, Lathik was terrified. He tried to think  about his family. His family was quite religious, whenever he felt especially scared about his life  and family, Lathik prayed to God to rescue him. Over time the seawater began to remove the  skin from Lathik’s tongue, on the palms, and between fingers. He smells something rotting. He  thought it was the decomposing bodies of his former shipmates. Every small sound in the dark  was magnified. The creaking of the hull, the banging of wreckage against the walls and most  horrifically, splashing and eating noises as fishes nibbled at the area of the sinking. The  government of Tamil Nadu had hired a deep-sea salvage saturation diving team to retrieve the  bodies of the lost crew members. The six divers, deck crew, and technical staff knew it was  going to be a grueling mission. Aside from the heart-rending work of recovering the dead, the  boat had sunk upside down into the soft mud, Striping up the fine silt and creating extremely  poor visibility. Furthur more because of security protocols the boat was locked from inside. 

The divers’ team entered into the sea with the supervision of other crew members topside on  the ship, helping to guide the divers via a connected microphone and watching their dive  through a camera worn by the other divers. The team spent over an hour breaking through an  external water-tight door and then a second metal door to get into the sunken boat. Once  inside it was extremely disorienting with the ceiling being on the bottom and the floor  overhead. Slowly, the divers explored the boat. They had recovered four corpses. Divers  pushing objects away inside the boat to see the other dead bodies. Lathik had nearly up hope  when he heard a noise that sounds like an anchor dropping. Then eventually he heard  hammering on surfaces of the boat. He knew it had to be divers. He banged on the wall but  didn’t think they heard him. Then Lathik saw the light from one of the divers’ head torches as  he swam through the hallway past the far end of the cabin, unfortunately, the diver was too  quick and left the area before Lathik could reach him. But Lathik was noticed by another diver,  and that diver informed the other divers “One is Alive ! is Alive !” through the microphone. The  divers were amazed to find Lathik alive. The divers informed the other crew members, who are  supervising that Lathik is having CO2 poisoning, being short of breath. The divers fitted him  with an Oxygen mask. Meanwhile, on the surface the crew was in contact with medical experts, 

discussing how to help best, the survivor. Lathik spends about 20 mins getting used to  breathing through the mask. Then the divers put on a diving helmet and started to get out from  there. They were a little worried that he would panic as they got him out of the boat and be a  danger to the dive, But Lathik continued to be cool under pressure the team was impressed  with his level of demeanor and confidence.  

Divers tool him to the surface, He finally arrived topside around 7 PM on Thursday, the 29th of  November. Disoriented Lathik thought it was Wednesday evening and he had only been  trapped for 12 hours. He was shocked to know that he had been underwater for over 2 days.  Lathik moved to the further treatment of his body. 

Of the 12 crew members in the tugboat (Wiliams -04). Divers survived one survivor (Lathik) and  recovered ten bodies. The search for the 11th crew member had to be called off due to  dangerous conditions. Lathik was fully recovered after four days and returned to his hometown  Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Lathik had taken a cooking job on dry land and vows to never  again take a position on a boat, as he made a promise to god when he was at the bottom of the  ocean. When he was under the water he told god. ‘If you rescue me, I will never go back to the  sea again, Never. 

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don鈥檛, pretend that you do and, at some  point, you will. Confidence is when you believe in yourself and your abilities,  arrogance is when you think you are better than others and act accordingly.” 

The above story was taken from the real incident which was happened on May 26, 2013, to a  29 years old Harrison Objegba Okene’s life. He was a Nigerian. He survived nearly three days in  a tugboat that had sunk upside down in a 100 feet depth. He was the lone survivor of a boat  sinking at sea [in the Atlantic Ocean]. He can lay claim to a unique title, He is the only known  person in the world to have survived on the seafloor for nearly 3 days. Harrison was finally  rescued on 28th May evening. 

“The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence. So, don’t lose your  confidence”

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28 thoughts on “UNDER 100 FEET

  1. wow! What a thrilling Story…. Simply awesome. The Narration of the Story was extraordinary. Keep it up bro… We want more Stories like this, from you…

  2. Great Story brother… All the best… I didn’t expect this from you..馃憣馃憣馃憦馃憦馃憤馃憤馃槈馃

  3. That was enlightening!! It kept me glued from the first to end. Great job shivam!! The moral was what we all needed!! Great one

  4. July 6, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Good one yar!! Perspective of the story is simply GREAT..!

  5. Nice story bro

  6. July 6, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Nice story bro

  7. July 6, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Nice story bro

  8. July 6, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Super undhi ra shiva馃敟馃敟

  9. Happy ga undraa 馃ゲ

  10. 馃馃

  11. Super b DARLING keep it up

  12. Super b DARLING keep it up

  13. July 6, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Nice story 馃憣馃憣

  14. Nice ra shivam馃憣馃徏馃憣馃徏

  15. Woahhh 馃敟

  16. Nice one

  17. This is so good story one of the best o have ever read . Keep it up 馃憤

  18. July 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Excellent story 馃憦馃挜馃挜 keep it up 馃槈馃挴馃挮馃挮

  19. 馃敟馃敟Super mama really Nyc 鉂わ笍

  20. Beautiful stry馃憦馃憦馃槏
    Keep going馃檶馃

  21. Superb ra mama 鉂

  22. July 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Shivam on 馃挜馃敟馃敟馃敟
    Nice story mams

  23. Great story and the moral was also good!!

  24. July 6, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Exlent

  25. Awesome narration man..!
    Fascinating..! 馃槉

  26. Awesome Story 馃憦

  27. Simply superb ra馃憣馃憣
    It was awesome…馃挴

  28. Awww
    I am just observing your writing skills Shivam
    It was really brilliant and way of presenting it is good
    It is nice story, like adventurous 馃敟
    Any way good and keep it up.馃槈