Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Epic Tale of Survival at Sea; Book in Memory of Captain Alan Picton

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Epic Tale of Survival at Sea; Book in Memory of Captain Alan Picton

Article excerpt

Byline: Ebony Stansfield Ebony.Stansfield@dailyexaminer.com.au

TEN YEARS after the Sea Rogue prawn trawler sunk, survivor Michael Williams said it is a privilege to get to grow old.

Mr Williams has announced that he is releasing a spoken-word poetry book about the tragic events that unfolded, beginning on February 27, 2008.

That fateful day, Mr Williams swam for 10 hours and more than 16km, after the prawn trawler sunk when its net was caught on a reef below.

Mr Williams told The Daily Examiner in 2014 that crew members John Jarratt (JJ), Alan "Charlie" Picton and himself all had to swiftly escape out of the cabin window.

"We just watched the boat upside down and, with a bit of moonlight, slowly sink in front of us," Mr Williams said.

All they had was a red tub to cling onto.

After six hours, Mr Williams made the decision to swim for help as the boat wasn't due back to port at Yamba for more than 24 hours.

"I was singing songs and felt really euphoric; I sort of had an out-of-body experience," Mr Williams said.

He then walked on to New Brighton Beach near Brunswick Heads about 4pm the next day in nothing but a singlet.

The search rescue crew located Mr Jarrett 6km off Lennox Head the next morning.

Mr Williams' actions helped save fellow crew member Jarrett but the Sea Rogue's captain, Alan "Charlie" Picton, died.

His aim is to release the book titled Sea-Rogue -- A true survivor's tale in spoken word around Easter, with the idea coming to fruition when he was recovering from the ordeal.

Mr Williams, who was holding the hard final copy of the book when speaking to The Daily Examiner, said he can't wait to get the book out into the community.

"I need to tell my story about it, there's all different stories about it," Mr Williams said. "This is the real deal."

He said every time he reads the book he feels a bit teary. …

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