Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sailor Saved After 39-Hour Stay Under Yangtze River

A Sailor aboard a sunken tugboat had a 10-square-metre accommodation to thank when he was rescued after a 39-hour stay at the bottom of the Yangtze River. Guo Linyuan, 31, a villager from Yaowan town of Xuzhou, a city in northern Jiangsu Province in East China, told his survival story at a nearby hospital, saying he still felt very frightened. He said it was the accommodation that saved his life.
Yangtze River
An unidentified watercraft crashed into a group of tugboats near Zhenjiang, causing three tugboats to sink to the bottom of the river. The accident left Guo 14 metres below the water's surface. As his tugboat sank rapidly, Guo was stuck in the accommodation and was surprised to find an air-tight space of less than 1 square metre in the room. Feeling cold and gripped by horror, especially aware there were boats sailing on the river above, he said the thing he feared most was that his precious air space would collapse. He tried to forget how tired and hungry he was. The Zhenjiang Maritime Safety Administration arrived on the scene and began to carry out the rescue and salvage the wrecks. Guo was finally saved and sent to the hospital. There was a second person aboard the boat lost in the accident Guo's wife, Wu Xueli, 30. She was still missing as of Friday night. The two of them began working on the tugboat from July 20 of last year. Xiong Jinshan, 60, manages the Jiangsu Wrecking Company, which was responsible for the salvage work. He said: "This is the first time I've ever seen a miracle like this."

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