Plane Crash in Tanzania : The Fisherman who Saved Lives

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Majaliwa Jackson has been officially declared a hero, awarded 1 million Tanzanian shillings ($430; £370), and offered a job in the fire and rescue brigade for his efforts.”

*Jackson *

A fisherman who was one of the first responders at the site of Sunday’s plane crash which killed 19 people in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria, has described how he tried to save the pilots stuck in the cockpit and how he nearly lost his life trying to rescue them.

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Majaliwa Jackson has been officially declared a hero, awarded 1 million Tanzanian shillings ($430; £370), and offered a job in the fire and rescue brigade for his efforts.

Speaking to the BBC from his hospital bed in the lakeside town of Bukoba before the government announcement, Jackson said he panicked as he saw the passenger plane approach from the wrong direction, before plunging into the lake.

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He rushed to the scene with three fellow fishermen and helped to open the rear door by smashing it with a rowing oar which helped passengers seated towards the rear of the plane to be rescued.

Jackson said he then moved to the front and dived into the water. He and one of the pilots then communicated with each other by making signs through the cockpit window.

“He directed me to break the window screen. I emerged from the water and asked airport security, who had arrived, if they have any tools that we can use to smash the screen,” he said.

He added that after being stopped he “dived back and waved goodbye to the pilot”.

But the pilot then indicated that he still wanted to be rescued.

*Credit:BBC

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