Stranded Zim troops swim for 3hrs in the Atlantic
10 March 2014, 11:34
Cape Town – Five Zimbabwean soldiers reportedly swam to safety for more than three hours in the shark-infested Atlantic Ocean after their boats capsized and sank during a training exercise in October last year.
Quoting the latest edition of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) magazine, The Sunday Mail, said the five soldiers were among the 21 members of the SADC Special Forces that successfully swam for their lives after a sea-borne exercise code-named Weiwitchia "went horribly wrong" in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Namibian coast.
The report said one Malawian soldier died during the mishap after he was hit on the head by propellers while two South Africans were "reported missing in action".
The Zimbabwe National Army has since promoted the five soldiers by a rank each, with Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Washington Chidavanyika saying "their ability to make split-second decisions made the difference between life and death".
Chidavanyika said like true soldiers, the five did not let the "daunting odds of survival deter them".
The training was aimed at strengthening regional co-operation.
Chidavanyika said Zimbabwe’s high standard of training in military skills made it easy for the soldiers to quickly adapt to changed conditions, making it possible for them to even operate in oceans and deserts.