8-year-old boy survives hours at sea thinking of mum and dad and “swim, swim, swim and don’t stop”


isiah-andrewRead news.com.au

Isiah Andrew, was holidaying in the Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara, when flash flooding associated with Cyclone Ita tore through hundreds of homes killing 17 people, with 30 still missing and thousands homeless.

“I was shocked to see how fast the river rose. I could not run anywhere because the house was surrounded with water and there were pieces of metal and scraps all over the place crushing against each other,” the child told a development officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund.

“I was trying my best to hold on to the coconut tree trunk but the current was so strong, pieces of metal, grass, mud, and plastics were all over me. I could also see our house collapsing. It was then that I decided to let go because the house might collapse on me.” […]

“All that time, I kept thinking of my mum and dad and that’s why I regained my strength,” he was reported as saying.

“I kept on saying in my mind swim, swim, swim, and don’t stop.”

“The bridge was right in front of me so I had no other option but to quickly dive again because if I didn’t the flood would have smashed me into the bridge.”

“I looked back and I could see both ends of Honiara from White River to Lungga. I then tried as much as possible to stay alive.”
UNICEF said the child was rescued by a fishing boat after floating at sea for several hours.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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