ISSAM MOHAMAD ISMAIL: The sea turned rough all of a sudden. The waves
became very high. It started raining heavily and it became dark. God,
be praised, poured out all his wrath in that hour. The boat started
swaying. The men tried to balance it by running from side to side. At
the end we surrendered to death. We all recited the death prayer. It
just took 15 minutes for the boat to sink...
PRESENTER: Rajaa Ismail, Issam's wife, said something had broken in
the bottom of the boat before it sank.
RAJAA ISMAIL: It was in the cellar. I was there because, sorry for the
word, I was dizzy and vomiting. A small hole opened first and the
water started pouring in. The boat lost its balance and started
swaying from side to side before it flopped. It broke from the bottom,
from the cellar.
PRESENTER: Issam went further than his wife to say that the boat was
so worn out, even before it had sailed. He likened it to the structure
ISSAM MOHAMAD ISMAIL: The part that was above the water was only half
a metre. The boat was not seaworthy. Not even for fishing let alone
for carrying people. It was like a carton. Do you know how the carton
PRESENTER: When the refugees realised that their trip would be fraught
with danger, some of them protested and tried to get off the boat. But
the smugglers were quick to act.
ISSAM MOHAMAD ISMAIL: He (the smuggler) pulled out a revolver and said
'I'll kill you.' He (the refugee) replied 'kill me'. He said 'I will
not let you off'. There were policemen with the smuggler. They had
automatic guns. The 21 people who got off the boat on an island before
the incident didn't manage to leave the ship before we had sailed for
about 20 hours...
[Rajaa and Issam also told Nakhoul about the mysterious boats that
survivors claim watched but did not rescue them]
The three of them were turning around us. We didn't know how to swim.
When I saw the boats' lights, I said to my husband 'relief is coming.
They will save us. They will help us', and we started shouting. They
couldn't hear us of course because the boats' engine noise. Even if we
had a loudspeaker, they wouldn't.
When we saw them we suffered more. They reached us. I swear to God,
trust in the Almighty God, they got very close. One of them was just
next to us...
We found that when we moved our legs we would almost reach them. I
said to my husband 'Issam, Issam, we will reach them. Yes they have
arrived.' But every time we moved our legs and we wanted to reach
them, they would take their lights away from us...
PRESENTER:Returning to our previous question, has the story of lights
been fabricated? The survivors have said that they couldn't
distinguish the colour of the ships as it was too dark and the lights
were directed to them. However, they have insisted on the credibility
of their story.
Three; I swear to God. We saw the three of them turning around us...
The survivors insist that some Indonesian police officers are deeply
involved in people smuggling. What Issam Ismail remembers of the
fateful sailing day gives a clear idea about the calibre of that
mysterious man, Abu Quossey, with whom rests the mystery of mysteries,
the fifth one.
The Indonesian police were there. They were carrying automatic guns.
They were so comfortable. They were the ones who gave the signals with
their torches. Turning on the torch was a signal to send out people.
Turning off the torch meant stop. That was how it was done darling. We
saw them with our own eyes. They had weapons we had never seen before.
The latest brands... [Full report]