It was our second day in Maldives yet we haven’t swim in the sea at all. Due to all the hassles we had to go through with our tour operator, we just got our booked ship (for our LoB-Live on Board) on the second day of our trip in the afternoon. On top of that, after getting our ship, we still need to wait one or two hours for the crew to load supplies and gas for our 3 days and 2 nights sail. After the crew finished loading supplies, we started sailing to the south attol of Maldives. This trip took around 2 hours so by the time we arrived somewhere in the south attol, it was already dawn.
Some of us weren’t patient enough (including me) to wait for day 3 of the trip to swim in the sea. So eventhough it was already dawn, we changed into our swimming suit, putting on our snorkling gear and jumped from the ship. As I swim, the current was quite harsh and there was nothing to see below. Due to the depht of the water and the minimum of sun light because of the time. So I immediately decided to climb back to the ship after swimming around the ship for a while.
However, Feliks and Aji decided to swim all the way to the coral spots located around 100 meters from our ship. As the day getting darker, they swim farther from the ship until we couldn’t see them anymore! It was pitch dark outside our ship and Feliks and Aji were completely unseen. We were panicking and asked the crew to pick them up instantly. The problem was the ship didn’t have a Dingo with engine attached to it (the engine was broken) so they had to row the Dingo to the spot where Feliks and Aji gone. Two of the crew and Isan ride the Dingo and go for the rescue.
We waited and waited but there were no sign of the Dingo coming back. We were so worried about the safety of our friends bearing in mind that both of them were not a very good swimmer. In fact, one of them couldn’t swim at all (guess who?!). All members were waiting in vain for the whereabouts of our friends (not really, everyone just took a bath and waited calmly). I waited at the 2nd floor of the ship while flashing lights in hope the Dingo will follow the flashing lights. It was a scary drama indeed.
After 2 hours, that feels like forever, of waiting, we could see the Dingo approaching from afar. As it came closer, we saw the 2 crews, Isan, and both of our missing friends! Geez. They were almost giving us a heart attack with this incident! Thank God they came back safely. We scolded them and thank the rescue team for bringin Feliks and Aji back safe and sound.
Feliks and Aji told us that they didn’t realize they have swim that far from the ship. By the time they reach the corals, the couldn’t see the ship anymore. But they got to see the beautiful corals below. Good for them. It seems like they were standing on the coral while blowing the whistles of their safety jacket to call for help but we couldn’t hear them at all. Isan told us that both of them were found holding hands. He made a joke about how romantic it was to hold hands on a corals under the light of the moon in Maldives! Haha.
We ended the night with a lesson learned, not to swim in the middle of the sea at dawn. I was grateful that all of us could make it back to Indonesia safe and sound to tell this story here. (npa)