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September 22, 2004
- Set my alarm this morning for 4:30 a.m. snooze after snooze after snooze I finally decided to get out of my comfortable hotel bed. I would regret not hitting that button a few more times. Work was draining this week trying to close the deal with Down Under Investments, but I got it done. While packing my suitcase I could hear all kind of commotion coming from the room next door, sounded like they were fighting over drugs or something. After a nice warm shower I got dressed and put on my lucky hat, the one I wore on every flight I've ever takin'.
- It was 6 a.m. I had to get to the Sydney Airport by 7 o'clock for my flight to Los Angeles then a connector home to Pittsburgh. Oceanic flight 815, couldn't wait to get on that plane and get back to the states. Yet another thought I would regret.
- I got to the airport a little before 7, checked in my bags and proceeded to gate 23. I had a little time to kill so I decided to get something to munch on before the flight. I sat down next to a gentleman having a beer, asked him if he thought it was a little early for a drink, he told me he was nervous about flying and that he had a deadline for a book he was writing. I introduced myself he introduced himself, I think his name was Gary. I told him, “don’t worry Gary planes want to be in the air”, he smiled and seemed a little more at ease. It was almost 8 o’clock, time to board the plane and head home, just didn’t think home would be so far away.
- Seat 24c had my name written all over it. I sat down and got myself comfortable for the long flight . I love sitting next to a window while flying, it’s such a surreal feeling gazing out of a window and seeing the land peaking through the clouds below. A couple hours into the flight however my surreal feeling turned into quite a real feeling. All I can remember was heavy turbulence, the ding of the fasten seatbelts sign and the oxygen masks deploying. I got my mask on then blacked out.
- Sometime later I awakened on a beach by the sounds of screaming, in the background I could hear the waves hitting the shore which calmed me a bit, it reminded me of my honeymoon in Hawaii. When I came around to it I got up and all I could see was carnage. Pieces of the plane were scattered all over the beach and dead bodies everywhere. The smell of jet fuel filled the air. There was this one guy running around trying to help the survivors, he must’ve been a doctor because he was giving a lady CPR, calming down a pregnant girl and nursing a guy with a massive leg wound. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have survived this.
- As day turns to night us survivors are getting fires going to keep warm while waiting for the rescue team. I hope they come soon cause this place is creepy!