DJ3NG/MM 1983 near Spratly Islands
DJ6SI, DJ3NG, DJ4EI, DF6FK and
ship crew were on their way to the Spratly Island DXpedition. A
night before arriving at Spratly, their boat was attacked and
sunken by Vietnamese gunships on Amboyna Cay.
DJ6SI survived and issued this QSL to mourn DJ3NG, DJ4EI, and others killed by this incident.
Here is the short story:
The first shot fell short, but the next shot struck the captain and he threw himself on the floor, although bleeding badly, as he tried to keep the ship on course. Baldur was also hit in the arm, and was bleeding, as was Norbert. Gero was in contact with another station on 20 meters, and advised him that they were under attack. As Gero left his position, they noticed that Diethelm was missing. It was not actually known if he was shot or thrown overboard. Their dinghy had fallen into the water, and everyone climbed into it, while the boat burned. The shelling continued, as they drifted farther away from the island. They had hoped that the message Gero had sent out on 20 meters had been received okay, and they would be rescued by U.S. Air Force planes in a few days. They believed that the Vietcong had shelled them, and soon discovered their dinghy had also been hit, but they were able to plug the hole with cloth. The bad news was that they had no water, and nothing to eat, and all were only partially clothed with no shoes. They used a small basket to catch tiny fish, which they ate, along with a few mussels from the bottom of the dinghy, but still no water. After about eight days, Gero tried drinking some sea water during the night, and he was dead by morning. They buried him at sea. Since the Spratly Group consists of so many reefs, sandbars and shallow areas, there is very little shipping nearby, so they had to wait until they got close to the shipping lanes for any hope of rescue. Everyone was suffering terribly from thirst - there was little hunger. The skipper and Norbert were both in bad condition, and everyones hope centered on a vision Baldur had had a few nights before, when he believed he heard a voice calling through dense fog: On the tenth day you will be rescued. (which later became the title of Baldurs book) After several ships passed, indeed on the tenth day (April 19) they were finally spotted by a Japanese ship, the freighter Linden under Captain Inose. On arriving in Hong Kong, they were taken to a hospital, where they recovered from their ordeal at sea.
Gero DJ3NG sk
Diethelm DJ4EI sk
The survivors: Baldur DJ6SI, Jenny Toh, Captain Peter Marx, Norbert DF6FK
Here is the whole story by Baldur that was printed in the 1st edition of DX Magazine!
QSL courtesy of JF2IGP
Short story and photos from QSL Collection at DokuFunk, Vienna
Thanks to OE1WHC