Couple's wedding rings found by rescuers after boat capsizes

Couple’s wedding rings found by rescuers after boat capsizes

Algerian couple Ahmed and Doudou made a lucky escape after being rescued by fishermen after 48 hours at sea due to their boat capsizing. The boat contained 20 people of which five died, reports the Italian arm of Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

When the incident happened, Ahmed and Doudou lost their rings and believed they were gone forever. A few weeks after the disaster, however, rescuers from the maritime rescue NGO Open Arms came across their half-sunken boat adrift in the Mediterranean on November 9. They found a red backpack that contained just a few items in it: a couple of shirts, a spare pair of shoes, a phone charger, and two wedding rings inscribed with the names Ahmed and Doudou.

“In the first moments, we thought that it probably belonged to someone that was dead or lost in the trip,” Riccardo Gatti, the president of Open Arms Italy, told CNN. “The significance and the meaning of what this was like ‘Wow … here’s something that really belonged to someone and we do not know where they are or if they still are’.”

Open Arms then shared photos of the backpack and its contents, including the rings, on social media. 

Gatti reached out to the Italian MSF to help find the owners.

“When (Open Arms) contacted us, I told them it was impossible to find the owners,” said Ahmad Al Rousan, a cultural mediator for MSF. “But they tried anyway, passing the photos of the backpack to some of the people who were on the same boat as Ahmed and Doudou. “And then they called us and said the backpack belonged to Ahmed.”

“I spoke with Ahmed directly and he started to explain to me what’s inside because the photo I sent was just of the backpack and some of the things on the deck,” Gatti said.

Ahmed had told him about the rings, explaining they were in the backpack because the couple was hoping to have them fixed after arriving to Europe.

Gatti added: “He told me he was really happy to see the photo and he was very emotional about the rings, but he’s still in shock and said ‘I keep thinking about the five people who lost their lives in front of us.”

Picture: Facebook / Open Arms Italia

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