Eiríkur Ingi (Rikki) Jóhannsson, the sole survivor of the four-person crew of the trawler Hallgrímur SI, which sank off the coast of Norway last week, appeared in an interview on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós yesterday.
Eiríkur Ingi Jóhannsson on Kastljós. Click here to watch the video.
The interview was posted online (also with English subtitles) but the server crashed due to overwhelming demand. The problem has now been fixed and the interview is available for streaming again on ruv.is.
Rikki described the trip, accident and rescue in detail, and what it was like to be adrift in a floatation suit in the cold and rough ocean for hours. He was scared, he said, but thought of his children, ruv.is reports.
“You just hope, you have to stay optimistic and it was all about that and I had to stay happy […]. I made an agreement with myself: I’m going to make it; I’m going to stay alive for ten hours,” Rikki said.
He saw the helicopter sent to his rescue long before the crew noticed him. He shouted at the people in the helicopter, even if he knew they couldn’t hear him.
“Then I yelled: ‘Einar, Gísli, Maggi, tell them that I’m here.’ And I kept drifting and I just swam and swam and swam,” he added.
The men he yelled at were his shipmates who are all presumed dead. Rikki thanks them for giving him the strength he needed to survive.
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