Sam Abraham

Eritrean woman tells of Libya to Italy boat journey

Sam Abraham was 16 years old when she was rescued at sea while making the crossing, and in 2007 her younger brother died while attempting the same journey.

At the age of 15, Ms Abraham made the decision to flee Eritrea to escape the war with Ethiopia.

”In our case we didn’t trust [the people smugglers] so we decided to just form our own group,” she told 774 ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine.

”The captain would go free, he would not pay because he had the skills, and 17 people would put in money,” she said.

She said the Eritrean captain ”was taught how to sail by looking at the moon and the sun”.

The Libyan who sold the group the boat taught the captain how to use the onboard compass instead.

”He couldn’t figure it out, after 16 hours we were lost, we had no idea where we were and so we just hovered around the ocean going to wherever the wind was taking us,” Ms Abraham said.