Seafarer Survives Six Days in the Sea

Riski and Harry
Riski and Harry

Published Dec 18, 2018 4:30 PM by Sailors' Society

A seafarer has survived six days in the open sea after the ship he was on sank in the Bali Strait.

Indonesian Nahum Naibahas, 26, known as Riski, was on board the Multi Prima, which sank when it was hit by two-meter high waves on November 22. The vessel was transporting building materials and animal feed from Surabaya to Waingapu at the time.

When he was picked up, Riski was very weak. He had been attacked by a seabird, bitten by fish and was severely sunburnt from being in the sea for so long.

Harry Rumagit, a chaplain from international maritime charity Sailors’ Society, has been supporting Riski since his ordeal: “He had almost given up hope, as for three days it rained solidly. Despite not having any food or water, Riski didn’t give up, and it’s an absolute miracle that he has survived.”

Six of the crew were lost in the disaster. Survivors jumped into the sea, with seven rescued by a vessel that had heard the ship’s distress call. The men were floating in the open sea for hours before they were rescued. 

Sailors’ Society, which is based in Southampton, set up its 24/7 rapid response team in South Africa in 2015 to provide trauma care and counseling to survivors of piracy attacks, natural disasters and crises at sea. The charity’s Crisis Response Network (CRN) has since expanded to Europe and Asia and now has 52 chaplains trained to offer crisis support to seafarers around the world.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.