Survivor tells heroic tale of man who died after giving his life jacket to pregnant woman during deadly tourist boat fire

Jackson Wilhelmus, 39, was one of the 23 people who died after the KM Zahro Express tourist boat, which was ferrying about 250 holidaymakers from mainland Jakarta to the Thousand Islands, caught on fire on Sunday.

Jackson might have survived as well if it wasn’t for his heroic act of self-sacrifice during the tragic incident.

Boy Firman, a friend and work colleague of Jackson’s, recalled the moment when the Zahro Express caught on fire and people started to jump off the boat.

“Jackson was looking at our friends who jumped. He looked at them one by one,” Boy said, as quoted by Warta Kota on Monday.

Boy said that Jackson saw that another one of their friends, Fitri, who was three months pregnant, was about to jump off the boat without a life jacket.

Jackson then stopped Fitri from jumping before giving her his life jacket.

Boy said his friend then jumped into the ocean without a life jacket of his own, just as a part of the boat exploded.

Fitri luckily survived the incident. But, tragically, Jackson drowned in the sea. His body was later recovered by rescue workers.

Jackson was a resident DJ at various clubs throughout Indonesia before finally becoming the general manager at X One Club & Karaoke in Bogor. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

According to the disaster agency, most of the boat’s passengers were rescued but 23 people died and 50 suffered injuries. The police have detained the boat’s captain amid allegations that he was the first to jump ship.

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