Mar 11, 2013

Sabah and Bakassi seems familiar

Recent war in Sabah remind me of an experience of mine in a far far away land.

I was in Cameroon, Africa, working in a siesmic survey company, a.k.a. oil exploration company.

Out location of work is Bakassi, near Nigeria. Peninsular Bakassi is known for their fight for independence from Cameroon. Before we left for Bakassi, we were warned that it is war zone, and we were not allowed to enter the area. US embassy even came to the jetty to persuade our HSE officer not to go to the area.

But due to our ignorance and our so called commitment to work, our barge tugged by 2 tugboat started the journey to Bakassi. Before we left the jetty, our barge and tugboats were equipped with soldiers.

Soldiers on board

Heading to Bakassi
Peaceful Sea
 When we arrived the location, it was so peaceful that we believed nothing will happen. but there are suspicious boat claimed to be fisherman approached us and ask question.

Sun start to set and we wished each other good night.

I stay alone in a big room. As the only lady on board, I was very cautious as usual, alert to any sounds and footsteps along the alley. Luggage in front of the door. I was woke up around 3am by footsteps walking fast on the alley and radio.

During the toolbox, only I now our tugboat was attacked by the rebels. Lucky no one was hurt. the moment I heart the news, I was so shocked. Then I go up to room, tears started to pour out like waterfall. After the cry, pull myself together and start to pack everything into my backpack, ready to evacuate from the barge.


Waiting for evacuation
 The evacuation process is a scary one. As most of the colleague is not experienced working on marine project, boat to boat transfer can be dangerous. Going down with a ladder and jump onto a small TZ boat, with the wave up and down , up and down. We evacuated to a chalet nearby after a long journey on a small boat.

The feeling of terror is back again. I can run away from Cameroon. But i cannot run away from Sabah. How I wish I can run away.....

1 comment:

CWMartin said...

I will keep you in my prayers. I am so sorry to hear this stupidity reaching your homeland.