TWO British holidaymakers were struck with terror after their boat sank in shark-infested waters off the coast of Kenya.
Ash Paisley, 46, and Mark Lane, 43, were just hauling in a 300lb marlin when they realised one of the crew was throwing water out of the boat in an effort to stop it from sinking.
“I’m a novice so I just presumed it was normal,” said Ash.
“There was no real panic – then all of a sudden it became clear we were in trouble.”
When the five local crew members tried to start the engines, both failed, and the boat began to sink.
The vessel quickly vanished, forcing the group to don life jackets and spend the next two hours floating ten miles from the shore in shark-infested waters.
They were eventually rescued after a passing Singaporean oil tanker that had scrambled a lifeboat after picking up a distress signal the crew had managed to send.
Dad-of-one Ash said: “We were just floating in the ocean with rubber rings and life vests.
“We all linked arms so we didn’t get swept away.
“The crew couldn’t swim, they were in bad shape.
“I was reasonably calm, then Mark turned to me and said, ‘Don’t mention the ‘S’ word’.
“I was thinking, ‘What, shipwrecked?’ He said, ‘S-H-A-R-K’. That’s when I began to get worried.”
‘WE COULD BE DEAD’
Ash is a former RAF engineer who now works on fibre-optic networks, while Mark is a car salesman.
The two were on a two-week trip to Mombasa after deciding they were getting too old to keep up a 20-year tradition of going to Glastonbury festival.
They had paid £400 for the six-hour trip to catch big fish.
“It was just supposed to be a nice holiday – a bit of fishing, safari, and a bit of relaxing,” Ash said.
“If it weren’t for that tanker we’d be dead.
“We could see it and all I could think was, ‘What if it doesn’t see us?’
Images from the vessel show them as specks on the horizon as it approached.
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“The best noise I ever heard was the sound of the crane lowering the orange dinghy into the water,” said Ash.
“That’s when I knew we were safe.”
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