Brothers to return home after hell on high seas

Jan 20, 2012, 08:47 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

While Brian escaped easily, Brenjoy Lopes was rescued hours after he fell into the icy waters; they return home today

While Brian escaped easily, Brenjoy Lopes was rescued hours after he fell into the icy waters; they return home today

The Lopes family from Vasai can heave a huge sigh of relief as their two sons Brian and Brenjoy, who were on board the wrecked Costa Concordia ship that hit the rocks off the Tuscan coast, will finally return home today.

However, the brothers have a harrowing tale to recount, as their rescue from the capsized ship was not smooth sailing. Brian (30), who worked in the housekeeping department aboard the giant cruise liner, was on the top deck when the ship hit the rocks and was able to escape within minutes.

Tears of pain: Brian and Brenjoy's parents were unable to stop their
tears when they heard that their sons had met with such a tragic accident.
Johnson had to be rushed to the hospital after he heard the news.

Pic/Pramod Dethe

However, for 28-year-old Brenjoy, who worked in the kitchen, rescue operations were a bit tricky. When the rescue rope was thrown down from the chopper, Brenjoy lost his grip and fell into the sea and even though he had a life jacket on, he sustained injuries to his hand. Hours later, he was pulled out of the water.

Weeping inconsolably
For Brian and Brenjoy's family, the situation turned grim on Saturday when they were informed that the ship that their sons were on had met with an accident and had capsized. As soon as their mother Gracy and father Johnson heard the news they fell to the ground weeping. Johnson was so badly affected by the news that he had to be hospitalised after his blood pressure skyrocketed.

Recalling those horror moments at home, Brian's wife Linet said, "We were completely unaware of the situation. Suddenly, I heard my mother in-law cry and that's when I rushed down to hear that Brian's ship had met with the accident. My dreams were completely shattered. I didn't know if I could go on without him. We have a three-month-old daughter and I just can't imagine a life without him."

However, the family felt God answered their prayers finally when they received a call three hours later by their son Brian informing them that both he and Brenjoy were safe.
Band of brothers
Brenol, who is the youngest sibling in the Lopes household told MiD DAY that it was only later that Brian informed them of Brenjoy's miraculous escape and injury to his hand.
Interestingly, even after both his brothers had a close shave with death, Brenol is keen on joining a cruise liner. When asked why, he said as a matter of fact, "Accidents can happen anywhere, even while travelling in a bus or train. I am not scared of death and hence I am determined to join the industry. Thanks to this job, my brothers were able to improve the family's financial condition and for that I am grateful."
Sharing his views, Linet added, "I won't stop Brian from going onboard again. It is not only his passion to work on a cruise but it also pays well and that too is important."
Brian spoke to MiD DAY from a hotel in Rome and said that they had been asked to move to the aiprort from where they would be taking a flight to Mumbai via Dubai and would reach the city by Friday afternoon.

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