HomeHeroes & Happy EndingsAmazing Survival StoriesKids Survive After Being Trapped Under Ferry

2-29-08
In an amazing tale of survival, rescue workers pulled a woman and her three children out from beneath the overturned hull of a ferry that capsized on Thursday. The accident occurred on a remote river in the Peruvian jungle, and killed at least 15 people, according to local police. 70 people were on board at the time, and 30 survived, with 25 who were still missing.

The four were trapped underneath the hull for more than 20 hours. They were kept alive by an air bubble that rose to the top when the boat flipped over. Rescue workers could hear shouts coming from the hull early on Friday morning, but couldn’t saw through the ships thick metal exterior to reach them. So there they remained, trapped under the boat, soaking in the jungle river.

It wasn’t until nightfall that navy divers swam through the dark Tapiche River and emerged underneath the submerged boat. One by one they pulled the survivors to safety: 4-year-old Karina Vargas Pacaya, 10-year-old Dorita Rojas Pacaya, 12-year-old George Gonzales Pacaya, and 39-year-old Elizabet Pacaya.

The boat capsized amid heavy rains, and investigators weren’t sure exactly what caused the accident. The ferry was 530 miles from the Peruvian capital of Lima, on a remote part of the Tapiche River. Peru’s Civil Defense Agency said that they think it might have been loaded with too many passengers, along with heavy bricks and cement, which probably led to the accident.


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