Chesterfield dad lucky to be alive after spending two hours in shark-infested waters on fishing trip

A Chesterfield man says he's lucky to be alive after spending more than two hours floating in shark-infested waters in Africa.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 11:09 am
Friends Mark Lane and Ash Paisley.
Friends Mark Lane and Ash Paisley.

Ash Paisley, his friend Mark Lane and their five Kenyan crew were left stranded ten miles off shore when their boat sank as they tried to catch a massive, much sought-after fish called a Black Merlin, which can swim at 65mph.

They put out a Mayday distress call - but were in the water for around two hours battling with 12-metre waves before being picked up by a Singapore oil tanker.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Friends Mark Lane and Ash Paisley.

Dad-of-one Ash, a former RAF engineer who now works on fibre-optic networks, told the Daily Mirror: "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."

Ash and Mark, 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.

Ash, 46, 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."

He added: "If it weren't for that tanker we'd be dead.

"We could see it and all I could think was, 'what if it doesn't see us?'

"The best noise I ever heard was the sound of the crane lowering the orange dinghy into the water.

"That's when I knew we were safe."