Brit tourists almost die after boat sinks in deadly shark-infested waters

Two Brit holidaymakers nearly died when their boat sank in shark-infested seas as they tried to haul in a 300lb fish.

Ash Paisley and Mark Lane spent two hours trying to stay afloat in 12ft waves, along with their five Kenyan crew – 10 miles offshore.

They were eventually rescued after a passing oil tanker picked up their distress signal.

Ash, 46, said: “We were just floating in the ocean with rubber rings and life vests. We all linked arms so we didn’t get swept away.

“The crew couldn’t swim, they were in bad shape. I was reasonably calm, then Mark turned to me and said, ‘Don’t mention the ‘S’ word’.

“I was thinking, ‘What, shipwrecked?’ He said, ‘S-H-A-R-K’. That’s when I began to get worried.”

The men had been battling to bring aboard a black marlin – one of the fastest fish on the planet at 65mph – when Ash noticed a crew member bailing out water.

He said: “I’m a novice so I just presumed it was normal. There was no real panic – then all of a sudden it became clear we were in trouble.”

When the crew tried to start the engines, both failed – and the back of the boat began to sink.

The crew managed to send a mayday call, but within minutes the boat vanished below the waves.

Ash said: “It listed and we were out and clambering on the side of the hull.

“I wasn’t panicked, I had this kind of weird, serene calmness.

“We had these little vests on for people who are 6.4stone.

“I’m 6ft 6in – I’m a big lad.”

The 75-tonne Singaporean tanker Hafnia Africa scrambled a lifeboat after picking up the signal and spotting the men.

Images from the vessel show them as specks on the horizon as it approached.

The pals, who flew home last week, had gone on the two-week trip to Mombasa after deciding they were getting too old for their annual Glastonbury meet-up.

Dad-of-one Ash, from Chesterfield, Derbys, said: “We’ve been every year for 20 years, but we thought we were getting a bit old.

“It was just supposed to be a nice holiday – a bit of fishing, safari, and a bit of relaxing.”

Ash, a former RAF engineer who now works on fibre-optic networks, and car salesman Mark, 43, from Somerset, paid £400 for the six-hour excursion to catch big fish.

Ash added: “If it weren’t for that tanker we’d be dead.

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