ONE STOWAWAY SURVIVES 5,600 MILE FLIGHT CLINGING TO JUMBO JET WHEEL
So I’ve heard of both desperate and brave. Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate between the two. And other times, one seems to lead to the other. In this case, it’s hard to tell. But no matter what, I’d say desperation and bravery went hand in hand. Unfortunately, this was like Thunder Dome. Two men entered. But only one man left. And that one man was Themba Cabeka. The 30 year old and a buddy hitched a ride on a British Airways flight out of Johannesburg, South Africa. The stowaway duo were clinging onto the jumbo jet’s wheel. But the flight was to Heathrow, in England, 5,600 miles away.
ONE DESPERATE BRAVE SOUL SOMEHOW MADE THE WHOLE TRIP, THE OTHER NOT SO LUCKY
So in other words, that’s an 11 hour flight from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. That’s a long, long time for a stowaway to hold on for dear life, with not enough oxygen to breathe and only one way to go. Down. Oh, and guess what the temperature was for most of the flight? Oh, just -60 degrees Celsius. And yes, that’s way below where negative Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same temperature. Themba’s friend Carlito Vale didn’t make it all the way. He fell 5,000 feet to his death, just minutes from landing at last.
SURVIVING STOWAWAY NOW HAS ASYLUM, AFTER 6 MONTHS IN A COMA AFTER DAMAGING LANDING
So what were these two desperate men thinking? Well, they were thinking they wanted a better life, in England, and were hoping to get asylum. Fortunately, stowaway Themba Cabeka did just that. But it was a long road we are only now hearing about. Heathrow staff found him unconscious on the tarmac on that fateful day, June 18, 2015. He was starved of oxygen and had a shattered leg. Them, he was in a coma for six long months. Only wo wake up and learn that his stowaway friend didn’t make it. But now, Themba has asylum and a new life where he finally landed.
So I’d say they were really desperate. And very brave.