Thursday, December 16, 2010

There but for...

I was driving home today and the news on the radio was all about the sinking of the boat full of asylum seekers trying to make it to Christmas Island..

To die on Christmas Island - just before Christmas, how bloody sad.

Apparently the boat was full of families from Iraq. None of them could swim. They were thrown into the diesel contaminated water as their overcrowded boat was slammed into the cliff rocks over and over  -driven there by a fierce NW wind and high seas. The boat splintered into pieces, hurling people into the water and onto the rocks. The survivors have fractures and other injuries that are horrific.

They say that there's at least 30 people dead, but as the boat had over a hundred people aboard the death toll is probably much higher. So far no one has been able to find any survivors amongst the many children that were aboard.

On the radio, the man who helped out with the rescue said he was woken by screams that went on and on. His nightmares are full of children floating face down in the water and the smell of diesel fuel..

This is one of those times I give thanks for the fact that I am here, safe and sound. All those things I complain about are really just blips on the horizon. How horrific life in Iraq must be if you are willing to risk the unforgiving ocean for the chance of a better life for you and your family and how utterly desolate those survivors must feel knowing that they've paid the highest price possible and lost their loved ones...

There but for the grace of the various deities go I.  It's just such a shame we lose sight of that so often until it's brought home to us in such a terrible way.

here's a link to what the SMH has to say:

Christmas Island asylum seeker tragedy

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