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Fiji Time: 1:57 PM on Saturday 19 April

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One life jacket for seven

Tevita Vuibau
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

"IF there were more life jackets in the boat, we all would have made it to land."

Semisi Nacagilevu, one of the three survivors from the vessel that sank off Wakaya Island on Saturday afternoon, wore the only life jacket on the boat.

Mr Nacagilevu, 50, was rescued after he managed to make it to Natokalau Village on Ovalau on Sunday.

Schoolteacher Filipe Koroi swam to Natokalau early yesterday while the captain of the boat was rescued hours later.

"I only wish that the authorities would strengthen their regulations and ensure that they have life jackets on all vessels that put out to sea," Mr Nacagilevu said. "If a vessel sinks at sea, a life jacket is the only thing that will keep us alive. If we would have had more life jackets on the boat, we would have been able to stay together and all move to land."

Mr Nacagilevu said he struggled to keep his thoughts positive when trying to find land.

"I just kept saying to myself that this is like being in a big swimming pool ... eventually you will reach the sides," he said.