The sole survivor of Flight 103 today spoke of how his life was saved because even though he was a frequent flyer, he took the trouble to re-read the safety card as instructed. ‘The stewardess advised us to read it and pay attention to where the exits were located. Other passengers were reading papers and looking out of the window, but I paid attention’ said Phil Sutcliffe, 39, from London.
As the 747 carrying 550 passengers hurtled towards the sea, Phil remembered what he had read. ‘As we hit the sea at 600 miles an hour, the other passengers had no idea’ said Phil ‘their heads and bodies were being smashed to pieces, but I was quite calm. I removed my shoes, took a couple of breaths from the oxygen mask and then made my way to the nearest exit. The scene around me was quite horrific; the man who was sitting next to me seemed to have exploded into a bloody mess; I do distinctly recall though that he hadn’t listened to the stewardess at all during the safety demonstration.’
Mr Sutcliffe was rescued by a passing boat who heard him blowing on his whistle as he floated calmly in his life jacket. ‘I knew it was under my seat, because as I say, I listened. I imagine the 549 other people on the plane wished they’d done the same the moment before they died so horrifically.’