INTERNATIONAL RESCUE

HeadLine: INTERNATIONAL RESCUE

The Mirror, 15/02/2001, p4
by SHAUN MILNE

A QUICK-THINKING Scots girl saved the lives of 19 shipwrecked tourists
by text messaging an SOS halfway round the world.
Cool Rebecca Fyfe, 19, from Ayrshire, sparked a huge naval rescue
mission in shark and pirate-infested waters near the Indonesian
paradise of Bali.
A stricken cruise boat was being tossed around during a fierce storm as
12ft high waves threatened to sink them.
But Rebecca grabbed her mobile phone and punched out the message for
help to boyfriend Nick Hodgson in London: “Call the Coastguard – SOS”.
Nick, 23, called her back but Rebecca’s phone battery was running down
and she couldn’t give him their exact location.
But Nick gave the sketchy details to Thames Coastguards, who relayed
the cry for help to their colleagues in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Falmouth alerted rescuers in Australia and then the Indonesians mounted
a full scale rescue operation.
Coastguard Gordon Whatley said Rebecca had saved the lives of the 10
other Britons, _ a New Zealander, an Australian, and six Indonesians on
board.
He said: “Unless she can speak the local language she wouldn’t get very
far trying to ring authorities in Indonesia.
“Contacting her boyfriend was the best thing she could have done.”
Last night friend Harry Loughlin, who is looking after the family home
in Ballantrae, Ayrshire, was delighted when told Rebecca was safe.
Harry, who served in the Merchant Navy and has travelled around
Indonesia, said: “It is notorious for pirates. We were worried about
bandits.”
The boat ran into problems in the Lombok Straits as it travelled
between Sangigi and Mataram, near Bali.
An Indonesian warship had located the yacht last night and were
attempting a rescue but the seas were still too choppy to get close
enough.

**



Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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