Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Captain saves crew while battling Haiyan

21 November 2013, 11:36

Quinapondan - Adrift in a boat in one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded to hit the Philippines, captain Richard Rama made a snap decision that kept him and his terrified crew alive.

"Don't jump!" was the first order he shouted after Typhoon Haiyan ripped his small flotilla of two tugboats and an empty 1 000-ton barge from their moorings on 8 November as the monster storm barrelled into the central Philippines.

The vessels had taken shelter in a bay on Samar island two days before Haiyan hit, but the tidal surge triggered by the typhoon snapped the moorings and dragged all three out to sea.

"The waves were hitting the barge's pilot house," Rama said, estimating their height at 4.5m

The decks flooded and the crew, nine in his boat, six in the other tugboat and three on the barge donned life vests and prepared to abandon ship.


Rama, aged 37, estimated they were only 500m from the shore at the time, but Haiyan's 315km/h winds had whipped the sea into a frenzy.

"I knew that if one of them jumped into the water everyone else would follow," he told AFP.

"I also knew if they jumped they would die."

Rama's insistence that the crews stay on board paid off when, after 30 minutes of being tossed around like pieces of flotsam, a sudden surge carried the three vessels back towards the shore and deposited them, unscathed, 100m inland.

Nearly two weeks later, they were still there, as was Rama his eyes red from lack of sleep and his hair caked with saltwater.

A dog and its pup roamed the deck of the barge which, despite the absence of any cargo, Rama continued to guard, waiting for a salvage vessel, his Filipino employer had promised to send.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...