BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Gloucestershire

South East Wales
Hereford & Worcs

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Pulling together...
Damaged boat in Sri Lanka
A damaged boat in Sri Lanka
Last updated: 27 January 2005 1612 GMT
line Gloucestershire's Stefan Hopkins went out to Sri Lankan to provide support in the aftermath of the tsunami on Boxing Day. Stefan tells us the story of how one fishing boat was rescued from the ocean...


Click here to see the pictures Stefan and his team took in Sri Lanka


Listen to Stefan's story of the fishing boat

To listen to audio content on the BBC you will need to have a program called RealPlayer installed on your computer. Download it for FREE by clicking here

See Also

Stefan's audio diary - Parts 1-4

Asia Tsunami Disaster

Features Index

2005 Features Archive

2004 Features Archive

Web links


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

View a print friendly version of this page
Talk to us and each other
Stefan Hopkins
It might not seem much when weighed up against the immense scale of this devastating natural disaster but the salvaging of a single sunken fishing boat turned out to be a wonderful event.

Amidst all the destruction and suffering in Sri Lanka, here was a story of hope and the triumph of human spirit...

start quote We were working down by the edge of the beach and we saw two guys snorkelling about three hundred yards off the shore. When they came to the shore we asked them what they were doing. It turned out that they were local fishermen; they'd managed to find one of their fishing boats that had been sunk and then swept back out to sea. It was about three hundred yards off the shore.

quoteThe fisherman was crying.
Stefan Hopkins

They gathered various lengths of rope, tied them together and swam back out again. [They] actually tied the rope to the boat, came back to shore and tried to pull their boat back into the beach. The two of them just couldn't manage it so we gathered the team together and we all started helping as well.

Slowly, more people came. Sri Lankans, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Americans, Australians; as many nations as you can think of. All came together and eventually there were about 60 or 70 people, pulling on this single rope. Slowly but surely, the boat started to move.

Eventually, after quite a tiring effort by everybody, we managed to get the boat to the shore. The fisherman was crying. He was crying because he was so happy. He'd managed to get back one of his possessions. He [would be] able to repair his boat and he would be able to get his livelihood back again.

quoteTogether we managed to achieve quite an incredible feat.
Stefan Hopkins

I feel that there's a message there, really, that so many different nations, some many different people who didn't know each other were pulling on that one rope. Together we managed to achieve quite an incredible feat, we managed to retrieve that fishing boat from the depths of the ocean.

For me that symbolises the huge relief effort that has now been put into motion in Sri Lanka. It's happening in India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives, and all the other countries that have been so affected by this tragedy.

If only the nations around the world could continue pulling on a rope together in the future, what a wonderful world we would live in. But for now it's just heart-warming to know that, for once, the world is united and despite the terrible, terrible tragedy that has befallen this area it's wonderful to see everyone working together. end quote

Listen to Stefan's story of the boat

Photo Gallery
(SARAID photo gallery)

To listen to audio content on the BBC you will need to have a program called RealPlayer installed on your computer. Download it for FREE by clicking here

dotted divider

If you would like to comment on this story get in touch at or have your say on our messageboard

You are in:
» Features


2005 Archive
Check out the 2005 Features archive for past stories from the website

2004 Archive
Check out the 2004 Features archive for past stories from the website

See also:
Gardening tips with Reg
Motoring with Zog Ziegler

Food and Drink
A Royal County
Untold Stories

Frequently Asked Questions
Food and drink
Gardening Q&A
Ghostly Gloucestershire
Countywide theatre guide
Cinema listings
Upcoming comedy
Photo galleries link
Web Cams
Gloucestershire in 360°
Interactive map

BBC Gloucestershire
London Road

Telephone (website only):
+44 (0)1452 308585


Gloucester docks

dotted line
dotted line

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy