Muscat, 22 June 2022 (TDI): The two Omani men who were rescued by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency after getting lost at sea for 10 days say they were able to survive the ordeal, thanks to four liters of water they had with them.
Salim and Ali Al Jaafari marooned at sea after setting off on their motorboat from their hometown of Al Askharah. The two men lost at sea were picked up on 19 June by a patrol vessel Zhob of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA).
The vessel was acting on orders issued by the government, following a request for assistance issued by Oman on 18 June.
They reached Karachi on 20 June, and arrived in Muscat later that night, after a harrowing ordeal for both themselves and their family members, who had undergone plenty of anxiety and worry while the two men were at sea.
That they were found is not due to one, but two big strokes of luck: on 18 June, a Pakistani fishing vessel was able to locate the two Omanis in the middle of the sea, in Pakistani territorial waters.
They were found off the coast of Balochistan province, close to the maritime boundary with Iran, some two days away from Karachi. One of the fishermen called their family in Oman from a satellite phone provided by a Pakistani fisherman.
On receiving his call, his family reported to the Omani authorities that he was off the coast of Pakistan. “While some of the joint naval exercises we carry out with other countries are directed towards warfare, the main objective is to help navies detect smaller crafts.
Also, to help people is the objective, by preventing activities such as smuggling, and rapidly responding to distress calls”, said Pakistan’s Ambassador to Oman, Muhammad Imran Ali Chaudhry.
“It is likely that the two men were housed at the naval base in Karachi”, he explained. “This is not just because of protocol but also because they are close to good medical facilities, just in case something happens to them after their long ordeal at sea”.
Dr. Omar Al Marhoun, Oman’s Ambassador to Pakistan, added “We didn’t expect to find them after they were lost at sea for ten days, because the Arabian sea & Indian ocean have very unpredictable weather patterns such as strong air currents, rough seas, and so on”.
The two men were found on a skiff, a small motor-powered boat primarily used for fishing, among other activities which had a shade fitted to it to keep them shielded from the harsh rays of the sun.