Friends In Life’s Storms

One stormy night, on September 28, 1994, the MS Estonia on its way to Stockholm, Sweden sank after having its bow car door seared off from the massive Baltic Sea waves. The disaster claimed the lives of 852 people making it the deadliest peacetime shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.

Most of the passengers who survived were the ones on the upper decks of the ship and  awoke when the ship started to sink. One of those passengers was a a twenty-nine-year-old Swedish entreprenuer named Kent Harstedt. Harstedt soon found himself standing on the capsized hull of the ship in the blasting, icy rain. He came across a fellow nineteen-year-old passenger, Sara Hedrenius. They both knew their chances of surviving the night were slim and decided to stick together to help each other. As the ship’s horn blew for one last time, Harstedt turned to face Sara. He told her that if they survived the night that he was treating her to dinner in Stockholm. She happily agreed. They then leaped off the sinking ship and into the freezing Baltic Sea below. They located a half-flooded lifeboat that had been washed off the MS Estonia as it plunged into the Baltic Sea and hauled themselves aboard it. Throughout the long night, they told each other stories and jokes to keep each other alive with a burning hope they would survive. They both did. Thankfully, in the early morning hours they were rescued. The next week, they ate dinner together in Stockholm and now live prosperous lives.

Although we may not be standing on the hull of a sinking ship, we are like Sara and Kent in stormy times. Each of us go through trials. Some are harder than others. It is important that we have friends and family members to rely on when “shipwrecks” in our lives do occur. Friends are our greatest treasure on earth. When I look back on my difficult life experiences, I’ve come to realize that a major factor in helping me get through those experiences were my family and friends. They gave me hope in those storms I was facing and helped me become a better person out of them. Surround yourself with good friends who support you and love you for who you are. By having such friends close by, we can survive any storm that our lives may bring.

If you are interested in learning more about Sara and Kent check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Night-The-Sinking-Estonia/dp/1934074217/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361069143&sr=8-1&keywords=flashes+in+the+night

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