Survivor recalls horrors at sea

Survivor recalls horrors at sea
BROKEN: A piece of wreckage of a boat which sank off the Indonesian coast, at Agrabinta beach in Indonesia’s West Java province.

A Lebanese asylum seeker described on Saturday how she lost two children and her husband when their overcrowded boat sank off Indonesia, leaving at least 22 dead and scores still missing.

Ms Nazime Bakour, 32, groaned in pain when asked how she felt about her loss. She fought back tears as her eight-year-old son, the only other survivor in her family, slept beside her in a medical centre in southern Java.

"I am happy he is alive. My husband and two (other) children are dead. They were three and seven (years old)," she told AFP.

"I had to swim. My husband swims very well, but the boat broke and hit his head," she said, recalling the boat being struck by a massive wave and breaking into pieces.

She saw her surviving son in the water and managed to grab him before they were rescued by fishermen.

"We left Lebanon because it's not safe for my children. My husband wanted to go to Christmas Island because of the children."

The estimated 120 asylum seekers on board were at sea for five days, she said, before their food and water supplies ran out and the two Indonesian crew admitted they were lost, deciding to turn back to Java island, from where they started.

Other survivors said they had raised the alarm with Australian authorities, passing on their exact location at least 24 hours before their boat sank, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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