Willy Harry from Kandrian in WNBP was only 17 at the time, when he boarded the MV Rabaul Queen along with two of his best friends to return to school at Bugandi Secondary in Lae, what was supposed to be a return trip to school turned into one and a half days of shock and terror as he still tries to come to terms with his ordeal which still vividly haunts him today.
“Mi laikim Peter Sharpe emi mas lukluk bek long disla taim were ol lain ibin lus wantaim sip because laif blong ol em bigpla samting, planti blong ol em ol sumating weh oli bin laik go bek long skul. Mi appeal long Mr. Sharpe emi mas gat gutpla tinging lo go bek gen long ol disla ol families where ol i bin lusim laif lo MV Rabaul Queen,” (I want Peter Sharp to remember back to the time when lives were lost with the ship, because the value of the lives lost is very precious many of them where students, and I appeal to Peter Sharpe to have a clear consequence and go back to the families that have lost lives with the MV Rabaul Queen) said MV Rabaul queen survivor Willy Harry.
Willy and two of his best friend Joshua Dan (17) and Benjamin Joe (20) were at the bottom deck of the ship when the ship was getting tossed about feeling uneasy Willy
Went to the top deck to inspect upon getting to the top of the ship a massive wave hit the MV Rabaul Queen and this is when the waves started rushing into the ship from all sides, in a bid to get back to his friends Willy realised that water was filling up fast below and it was useless to get to the bottom deck so Willy jumped as the ship was going down and he was saved only by a man who was on a floater after he hit the water and spent 30 minutes fighting to stay afloat of the current.
That fateful day still haunts Willy today, who is now 20 years old with dreams of a career in music, he says the screams and cries of those around him is something that he carries deep within him which has profoundly affected him, he still has not yet spoken to the parents of his best friends Joshua and Benjamin and admitted that he would be lost for words if he saw them with a tears in his eyes he hopes that justice will prevail and some closure and comfort can be felt for the grieving families who have lost loved ones in the nation’s worst maritime disaster. PNGFM / ONE PNG