By Andy Blatchford And Les Perreaux, The Canadian Press
ILES-DE-LA-MADELEINE, Que. - Claude Deraspe was naked and clinging
piece of ice in the North Atlantic when he noted with grim satisfaction
that his bone-chilling escape from L'Acadien II had accomplished at
least one thing.
"Now if I die," he thought to himself, "my body will be found."
and crewmate Bruno-Pierre Bourque were the only two survivors from the
six-man crew of the sealing vessel that capsized last Saturday while
under tow by the Canadian Coast Guard.
The two young men gave a detailed account Wednesday of their escape
from the boat that rammed into ice, overturned and filled with water
Three men died, and the Canadian government promised Wednesday to
resume the search for the fourth man lost at sea, Carl Aucoin.
The accident happened in the dark hours of Saturday morning while
captain Bruno Bourque and sealers Gilles Leblanc and Marc-Andre Deraspe
snored away in their bunks.
Deraspe decided to retire
too, leaving Bruno-Pierre Bourque, the captain's son, at the helm of
the L'Acadien II, with its disabled rudder. Aucoin was on watch.
The sky was full of
stars and the wind was calm, Bruno-Pierre Bourque recalled.
uneventful tow from the coast guard icebreaker Sir William Alexander
ended when the big ship swerved to dodge a massive chunk of ice in the
otherwise relatively clear waters.
The ice-cake ended
up directly in the path of L'Acadien II.
"The boat hit the
chunk of ice and that flipped us instantly," Bourque said.
continued to pull."
Down below, the
boat jolted to a halt with the sound of moorings snapping off, Deraspe
Aucoin yelled that water was rushing into the cabin where all six men
rested, manned the helm or kept watch.
"I got up and
yelled, 'Get up! Get up!'," Deraspe told reporters in his hometown of
"I clapped my hands
to wake up Marco, Bruno and Gilles."
the helm, Bourque heard Wayne Dickson, the captain of the nearby
Madelinot War Lord, yelling over the radio for the Sir William
Alexander to stop.
was already rushing in so fast that escape through the main door was
impossible for Bourque and Aucoin. Water pushed them out a back exit
happened very fast," Bourque said. "We're talking about 15 seconds."
Bourque found himself beneath the upside-down boat with debris on
his back. He doesn't remember precisely how he escaped.
"I opened my eyes and I said to myself, 'There's no way you're
going to stay trapped here'," he said.
"After that my memory is very hazy until I was pulled from the
water beside the upside down boat."
Bourque does remember looking up to see the crew of the Madelinot
War Lord pluck him from the icy water.
"I owe them my life," he said.
below in the capsized L'Acadien II, dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and
wool socks, Deraspe tried to get out a door. Instead, the rushing water
ripped off his clothes.
He returned to the cabin to get
air. As the water level in the upside-down boat rose to his armpits,
then his shoulders, then his neck, he stuck his nose upward.
"I put my lips to the ceiling, which was the floor of the boat,
and I said to myself, 'Don't take in air until the water is up to your
ears'," Deraspe recalled.
"I took a big breath and I thought, 'You have to leave, or you'll
stay here forever."'
couldn't find the door. He felt around until he struck a control lever,
which told him the captain's window was nearby. With air running out,
he opened the window, kicked a piece of ice out of the way and swam to
He was clinging to the hull of L'Acadien II
when the thought struck him that he would be sucked down with the ship
if it sank. So he swam to a small ice pack and crawled out of the
A few feet away, Wayne Dickson on the Madelinot War Lord spotted
"I heard Mr. Dickson yell, 'Come on boys! Come on boys! Another
one here!'," Deraspe said.
It took six men several attempts to haul Deraspe's numb body out
of the water. The crew wrapped him in a blanket.
"Bruno-Pierre was there," Deraspe said.
"What a comfort. I didn't know where anyone else was."
"Thanks to Wayne and his crew for saving our lives."
Dickson wishes he could have done more.
"I was just hoping that somebody was going to come up," he said.
became a gruff and outspoken critic of the coast guard tow and rescue
attempt hours after the accident. On Wednesday, he described an eager
female coast guard diver who wanted to go back into L'Acadien II for
one last look for Aucoin's body.
Her superior would not allow it.
Madelinot War Lord continued to search the area for hours after the
initial rescues, but no one else surfaced. When they finally left the
scene, the coast guard had cut L'Acadien II loose. The 12-metre boat
still bobbed near the surface as he left.
"I feel so sorry, for those guys, that we couldn't save them
all," said Dickson, choking back tears.
reading this ..it seems
Israelis are angels-from-heavens..........while Palestininans are
VERY BAD DARK PERSONS :
By Amy Teibel, The Associated Press
(( the report in
french not similar to the report in english ..about who were those
JERUSALEM - An aide to Israel's public security minister was
gunfire Friday as he toured an observation point overlooking the
northern Gaza Strip with a group of Canadians.
Dozens of other people were at the site at the time but no
one else was hurt, cabinet minister Avi Dichter said.
deputy director of Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon, Dr. Emile Hay, said
Dichter's bureau chief, Matti Gil, was in stable condition with gunshot
wounds to the lower abdomen and pelvis.
Dichter and Gil had taken a group of Canadians to the overlook near the
Sderot to familiarize them with the situation in Israeli communities
bordering Gaza, which have come under frequent Palestinian rocket fire.
A member of the group told Israel Radio that while Dichter was
speaking, there was a 30-second volley of gunfire in which Gil was
Dichter said the entire attack lasted about
15 minutes, at a time when the overlook was "covered" with people,
including 20 people in his group.
"The Canadian group behaved terrific, as if they are under
fire in Canada every day," throwing themselves down on the ground
immediately and crawling toward a military position, he said.
A tour guide with the group, Eddy Azran, said most of the Canadians
were Jews and Christians from the Montreal area.
About 70 people were standing at the overlook when the shots
came without warning, Azran said.
we heard a burst of fire and the bullets started hitting around us,"
Azran said by telephone. "There was confusion and everyone fell to the
ground. We brought the tourists to a nearby army shelter with cement
blocks. Then we heard the guy shout 'I'm hit' and I ran to get a first
aide kit out of my car."
The Canada-Israel Committee
issued a statement saying members of its board of directors were at the
site when the shooting occurred.
"The CIC group, reflecting the resolve of all Canadians, is
continuing with its tour of Sderot," board chairman Moshe Ronen said in
described the group as "shaken but with a much clearer understanding
and appreciation for the awful situation facing these Israeli
communities on a daily basis."
groups claimed responsibility for the attack, including the military
wing of Gaza's Hamas movement, along with a militant offshoot of
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, and two little-known
radical Islamic groups inspired by al Qaida, the Army of the Nation and
Protectors of the Homeland.
Army Radio reported that tanks and bulldozers entered Gaza
after the shooting.
told Israeli Army Radio he did not think the shots were aimed at him
specifically, and that Israeli troops immediately returned fire.
Army Radio reported that tanks and bulldozers entered Gaza
after the shooting.
attack was the second in recent weeks in which a Dichter aide has been
hurt in an attack. In late February, a bodyguard was lightly wounded in
a rocket assault on southern Israel as he prepared for the minister to
Gaza militants have bombarded Israeli border
communities with crude rockets since late 2001, killing 13 people,
disrupting daily life and provoking sometimes harsh Israeli
retaliation. With Egyptian mediation, however, there has been a lull in
violence in recent weeks.
Separately, Gaza militants
on Friday opened fire on farmers working in the fields of a communal
farm, or kibbutz, near northern Gaza, Ein Hashlosha. No one was hurt.
Three months ago, an Ecuadorian volunteer at the kibbutz was
killed by Palestinian sniper fire.
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Le chef de cabinet du ministre israélien
Sécurité intérieure Avi Dichter a
été blessé vendredi par des balles
tirées depuis la bande de Gaza alors qu'il était en
visite dans une
région d'Israël limitrophe du territoire palestinien, selon
israélien de secours.
Gill a été blessé par des tirs à l'arme
automatique dans le kibboutz
(village collectiviste) Nir-Am dans le sud d'Israël, à
nord de la bande de Gaza, lors d'une visite sur place avec M. Dichter,
a précisé le Maguen David Adom, l'équivalent
israélien de la
Atteint à la hanche, il a été
évacué vers l'hôpital Barzilaï dans la ville
israélienne proche d'Ashkélon.
M. Dichter accompagnait une délégation de juifs
noth american jews))venus
exprimer leur solidarité avec les habitants des localités
proches de la bande de Gaza et cibles régulières de tirs
de roquettes en provenance de la bande de Gaza.
étions avec M. Dichter et il nous expliquait les
problèmes posés par
ces tirs de roquettes, quand des tirs ont soudain éclaté
Mati", a raconté un témoin, Moshé Ronnen, à
la radio publique
"Les soldats israéliens sont ensuite entrés dans la
bande de Gaza", a-t-il ajouté.
a confirmé qu'un "civil" israélien avait
été blessé légèrement par des
tirs depuis la bande de Gaza et évacué vers un
sources de sécurité israéliennes ont de leur
côté confirmé que des
soldats israéliens ont pénétré en
territoire palestinien à la recherche
des auteurs des tirs.
Les tirs ont été revendiqués
conjointement à Gaza par la branche armée du Hamas, le
islamiste qui contrôle le territoire palestinien, et un groupe
manifeste pour la première fois, les "Protecteurs
combattants ont visé le ministre israélien Avi Dichter
opération menée conjointement avec les Protecteurs
avons gravement blessé un de ses collaborateurs", a
déclaré à l'AFP
Abou Obeidah, le porte-parole de la branche armée du Hamas.
Hamas a précisé dans un communiqué que les
avaient "ouvert un feu nourri pendant 10 minutes" en direction de M.
Dichter et de la délégation qu'il accompagnait.
opération s'inscrit dans le cadre de la riposte aux crimes et
l'holocauste commis par l'occupation israélienne dans la bande
et le blocus injuste qui y est imposé", a ajouté le Hamas.
et les groupes armés palestiniens observent depuis le 8 mars une
tacite qui s'est traduite par une baisse sensible des tirs depuis la
bande de Gaza et des attaques israéliennes dans ce territoire
The Minneapolis woman is the kind of person capable of biting
back - even if her opponent is a pit bull.
Rice says she bit a pit bull on its nose Friday after the dog
fence around her backyard and attacked her Labrador retriever, Ella.
After trying and failing to pry the dog's jaws open, Rice says
down on the pit bull's nose to force it to release Ella.
She drew blood and her doctor will have to determine whether she should
shots for rabies. The pit bull has been quarantined. Ella is recovering
with staples and stitches to her head and a crushed ear canal.