Woman paid $13,000 for spot on fishing boat

Woman paid $13,000 for spot on fishing boat
CRASH: The fishing boat tried to land on popular Greek beach Zephyros but crashed into the rocks

The image of Ms Wegasi Nebiat being rescued was broadcasted across the world, after she survived a sinking boat where up to 900 migrants died in a 24-hour period.

Ms Nebiat, 24, was saved after the fishing boat packed with migrants from Libya crashed off the Greek island of Rhodes, Reuters reported.

The Eritrean was one of almost 100 passengers who clung onto debris and scrambled ashore. Ms Nebiat is now on her way to Athens, the Daily Mail reported.

After being rescued, she collapsed from exhaustion and suspected pneumonia and was hospitalised for three days.

She said: "I don't remember much. I was in the water and scared, and then I was here. I feel lucky. I have family back home. I am lucky that I made it."

She was reunited with her friends and fellow refugees on Thursday night as she became officially free and boarded a boat bound for Athens at 5pm.

TEARS OF JOY

Ms Nebiat broke down in tears of joy when she saw her fellow countrymen.

"I am so happy. We are not sure what we will do but we hope to travel across Europe," she said.

Her family had paid more than US$10,000 (S$13,000) to give her the chance of starting a new life in Europe, hoping that she would reach Sweden.

Ms Nebiat's arduous journey started over a month ago in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, where she lives with her parents and a younger brother.

She took a bus to the city of Teseney and walked 70km to Kessalla in Sudan.

She was then picked up by smugglers and taken to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum before flying to Istanbul with a false passport.

Once in Turkey, she travelled to the coast, where she and other migrants were taken to a secluded beach in the early hours of Sunday morning before being loaded into the cabin.

The journey lasted almost six hours and the boat tried to land on popular Greek beach Zephyros, but it crashed into the rocks.

Syrian survivor Mohammed Srou-Mallah, 24, said he managed to hang on to his smartphone when the boat crashed, reported Fox News.

He added that he planned to catch a plane to Athens once he was processed by authorities.

"I'm not going near the sea for some time," he said, with a weak smile.


This article was first published on April 25, 2015.
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