For two months, Swedish Linnea Pakermo (20) and her best friend traveled around Thailand.
This year's Christmas was due to be celebrated on Koh Lanta with her friend's family, who had come to visit for the occasion.
Everything was ready for a strange Christmas. But Christmas Eve wasn't ideal at all when water started taking over the boat that was supposed to take them to the famous island.
-The worst I've ever seen
Early in the morning of December 24, the Swedish gang was supposed to take a boat from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta.
“The boat looked brand new and felt safe,” Linnea tells Swedish partner newspaper Dagbladet. Express.
At sea there were big waves that hit the boat. An hour later, the passengers heard a strong sound.
– Suddenly the boat started taking on a lot of water. Everyone felt frightened, and some hyperventilated. A complete panic broke out, the 20-year-old tells Dagbladet.
There were about 70 passengers on board, including two children.
-We were asked to wear life jackets because the boat was broken. The captain tried to return the boat to Koh Lipe, but in the end the engine also ended up underwater. She says: Then the water started flowing.
At one point, Linnea and other passengers had water up to their hips, even when they were standing on the chairs. In addition, the captain knew little English, thus leaving the passengers in uncertainty for a long time about what would happen.
– For a while we thought no one would come to help us. We feared the worst but hoped for the best. I tried to control my emotions, but I cried every second, says the 20-year-old.
Fortunately, the captain called for help. While the passengers were waiting for help, they opened the roof of the boat with a knife so they could jump out.
– This is the worst thing I have been involved in, the 20-year-old tells Dagbladet.
He called home
After an hour and a half, rescue finally came. All passengers and crew survived.
All the luggage had to be left in the sinking boat, but Linnea refused to give up her mobile phone.
“I swam with one arm and two legs while holding my mobile phone in the air,” she says, laughing.
When Linnea boarded the lifeboat after about half an hour in the water, she cried with relief. She then called her parents, who were unaware of the drama their daughter had just gone through.
All passengers were received by a hotel when the lifeboat reached the shore. There they received food, drink, towels and dry clothes.
– We sat and talked together about what we had been through for six hours. She says there are many who are still crying out of frustration and fear.
The luggage on the boat is damaged. But in the midst of this drama, fortunately, the Swedes made a good choice:
-We wrapped our passports in several plastic bags before jumping into the water, and fortunately we still had our passports. “We are now hoping to get a refund on our travel insurance so we can buy new clothes,” Linnea says.
“Organizer. Social media geek. General communicator. Bacon scholar. Proud pop culture trailblazer.”