The boat sighted by Frontex reconnaissance aircraft with the only survivor, Mohammed Adam Oga, onboard as well as the corpse of another passenger who died from the hardships of the journey | ANSA/AFM - Armed Forces of Malta
The boat sighted by Frontex reconnaissance aircraft with the only survivor, Mohammed Adam Oga, onboard as well as the corpse of another passenger who died from the hardships of the journey | ANSA/AFM - Armed Forces of Malta

The following is an account given by Mohammed, the only survivor of a sea journey in which 14 people died of the hardships suffering during 11 days at sea.

Mohammed Adam Oga is the name of a man who 'miraculously' survived a Mediterranean Sea crossing in which 14 others died of hardships suffered during the journey from Libya to Europe. 


Mohammed, 38, is Ethiopian. All the others who had been travelling with him died during the 11 days under the sun in the middle of the sea without petrol, water, food or shelter, including a pregnant woman. He was rescued by a Maltese armed forces helicopter on Monday from the dinghy he and the others had been on. 

He had collapsed on the corpse of one of his fellow travellers and was close to death. ''I am alive. I am happy,'' he said after the rescue. 

Taken to the Mater Dei university hospital of Malta, Mohammed survived the severe dehydration that was ruining his internal organs. He spoke to a journalist from the Times of Malta about the 11-day nightmare and said with the help of an interpreter that ''God sent me the Maltese''. 



Fleeing from Eritrea to reach Germany 

Mohammed said that he had been a political activist originally from Ethiopia involved with the Oromo Liberation Front, which is demanding independence of the Oromia region and has been outlawed. ''If I return to Ethiopia they will arrest me,'' he said, noting that he had spent the past 15 years in Eritrea after fleeing his homeland. Then he went to Sudan during a full-fledged crisis. ''A friend advised me to try to reach Germany,'' he said. 

And thus Mohammed went to Libya, where he met Ismail, his last travel companion. With him, he reached Zawia, 45 kilometres from Tripoli, and the smuggler that handed them over to the boat runner. 

'Two dead per day' 

A photo released last Monday by the Maltese armed forces - who undertook the rescue operation after the boat was sighted by Frontex reconnaissance aircraft - shows the anxiety of an impossible journey. ''First, the petrol was used up, then the food, then the water. After five days, the first two died,'' he said. 

The days continued to pass with temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius and ''two died per day'', he said. ''We saw ships go past, helicopters, planes. We yelled and screamed. No one stopped. The bodies began to stink and so we decided to dump them into the sea. Every day we threw the bodies of those who didn't make it into the sea and in the end we were alone,'' he said. 

''Ismail said that 'they have all died, we do you think we will survive? ' and began to throw everything into the sea and yell that we should die together but I didn't want to die,'' Mohammed said. And so he remained in the boat until a Maltese helicopter brought him back to life.
 

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