September 30, 2020

Further wait for crew of stricken vessel

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The crew who were miraculously rescued at sea when their boat sank still face an anxious wait before they can be reunited with their families.

Miss Janice got into difficulties five hours after setting off from Cayman, heading to Honduras.

And after the boat sank, the six-man crew drifted on life rafts for nine days before they were eventually picked up by the oil tanker, CPO Sweden.

Yesterday, the boat’s owner Travis Welcome said they were due to dock in Houston late last night.

But it’s not clear when they will be able to return to their homes in East End.

Mr Welcome said: “We are not sure yet but we are supposed to get to Houston around 7pm.

“We have been receiving excellent treatment onboard the CPO Sweden. A few days ago there were some issues with our documentation but that has all been cleared up.

“It’s hard to think what the first thing I would say when I get back to my family. I have a photograph of my wife and I look at it all the time.

“Part of the reason I survived is because I have given my life to the Lord for 20 years. It was my prayers and those of other people that helped us get found.

“Some of the other crew thought that we were not going to make it. We were in the open sea and their was nothing for thousands of miles.

“We prayed and talked to each other to get reassurance. The nights were very cold and we couldn’t wait to see the daylight.

“Nobody slept and we stayed awake for long periods of time.”

The ship had docked at New Orleans but the crew stayed onboard and instead of disembarking, headed to Houston.

Captain Christian Zielke said: “There are very strict regulations in the US when it comes to immigration processing.

“At first they have to ascertain their identity and they can only get off the boat at Houston which is were we are heading now.

“They are all in good health and excellent spirits but they are clearly very anxious to get home to Cayman.”

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