Three British guys got wasted, woke up in Tartus, Syria
THREE young Brits working at a Cyprus resort have reportedly survived a real-life version of The Hangover after getting completely wasted and ending up in one of the most dangerous countries on earth.
Lewis Ellis, 25, from Manchester, Alex McCormick, 19, from Essex, and 23-year-old James Wallman from Hertfordshire claim to have spent the past few months working at nightclubs in the party town of Ayia Napa.
Their bizarre ordeal reportedly began on Monday morning when they say they decided to cap off an all-night bender with a spot of dolphin watching.
Several hours and more than 100km later, the bleary-eyed trio found themselves looking into the baffled eyes of Russian soldiers at the port city of Tartus in war-torn Syria.
“It’s the most f**king ridiculous story, isn’t it?” Lewis told news.com.au from Cyprus this morning. “We went to watch f**king dolphins and we ended up in f**king Syria.”
As far as Lewis remembers, the three friends had booked a diving and dolphin-watching trip for their day off on Monday. But they’d been partying all night and were still raring to go after the last nightclub closed at 7.30am.
Their boat was scheduled to leave at 9am but they’d left their tickets in their flat, some distance away, so they decided to make their way to the port and take their chances.
“I mean it was f**king 8am and the last f**king club had closed and we thought: ‘we can still go dolphin watching. We’ll blag our way onto a f**king boat and go dolphin watching’,” Lewis said.
“So we blagged our way onto this random boat. And we’re on there for f**king hours before we realise that we can’t see Ayia Napa anymore so we start f**king panicking a bit. We said to the crew, like, ‘why are we so far from land? We’re f**king miles away and we’ve got no f**king wi-fi’.”
“Pretty soon Cyprus was just a dot so by this point we were royally f**king panicking and trying to explain to these guys that we’re on the wrong boat and they had to go back,” he said.
“These guys were getting pretty aggy, shouting at us, and the geezer who was translating at the port wasn’t even on the boat so there was zero chance of knowing what the f**k was going on.
“Two of us had work that night, so we were trying to call our bosses to try and get us out of this mess but nobody had signal and we had 15 euros between us.”
The mates tried to use their mobile phones to call for help but there was no signal.
Finally, after nine hours at sea, they were ready to “accept our fate” when they saw land on the horizon. But it was not Greece or Turkey as they had hoped.
“We ended up in some f**king place called Tartus or something and literally had no idea where this f**king place was,” Alex said.
Located 80km west of the ultra-dangerous city of Homs and northwest of Damascus, Tartus is Syria’s second largest port after Latakia and home to a Russian naval base.
Lewis told news.com.au the friends almost s**t themselves when the Russian military police turned up.
“That f**king sobered us up,” he said. “They took us away and started questioning us; you know, who were we? What were we doing in Syria? When we explained what happened they realised how ridiculous it was and they thought it was f**king hilarious. They took photos of us, selfies. They were laughing their f**king heads off.
“We were dying for a f**king smoke but the naval base was no smoking so they let us go out onto the rocks outside and we took more pictures. When we got back inside they hooked us up with wi-fi and fed us some kind of stew.
“Alex called his mum and she went f**king ballistic. She was crying and screaming down the line and the Russians were laughing their a***s off.”
The Russians arranged for them to be taken back to Cyprus by boat and they arrived at Ayia Napa at about 2.30pm yesterday — more than 24 hours after they set off.
“Everyone knows who we are now,” Lewis told news.com.au. “Everyone has been coming up to us and treating us like f**king heroes. Journalists from all over the UK are trying to get in touch with us. It’s just ridiculous, I mean we went to watch f**king dolphins and we ended up in f**king Syria.”
There has been increasing discussion on social media that the boys’ story has been fabricated following a series of Facebook posts.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to email@example.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
- Tripolitania Society says 6+6 committee’s outcomes are arbitrary - June 09, 2023
- Minister of Labour reaffirms government’s social justice efforts - June 09, 2023
- Meloni: Libya remains a strategic partner for Italy - June 08, 2023