THE director of a shipping company ended up dining with the captain of a vessel as he made his way back across the globe from a conference in Brazil.
Brian Kofoed, 34, who works for Lysander Shipping, in Liverpool, had his flight cancelled last Thursday, due to the volcanic ash.
After two days in a hotel the father of two, from Aughton, decided to find a flight to Europe, then make his way home from there. He said: “I flew to Lisbon and landed on Sunday morning. I went to the bus and train stations, but they were crowded with people trying to get home.
“So I looked on the internet for Lisbon’s port, and found a vessel was departing on Sunday, going to Dublin.” Mr Kofoed enlisted the help of his London-based MD, Kim Lund, and, after several phone calls, he was given permission to board the ship.
As luck would have it, the vessel’s final departure was actually Liverpool, and Mr Kofoed was due to arrive home at 9am this morning.
He said: “When I was in Brazil it didn’t look good at all for getting back to the UK, and I could see it taking weeks because of the backlog, so I thought I’ve got to get back to Europe. I was missing my wife Majelle and my children, Ted, five, and Florie, four, so I wanted to get back as soon as possible. In Lisbon, there were a lot of stranded families, and I felt sorry for them because you can make quicker decisions on your own, but I also felt a little bit jealous because I was missing my family.
“For the last two days on the vessel there has been no mobile reception, so that has been weird. I was wondering if the whole thing had cleared up already. I know it was only two days, but it’s unusual for me not to have contact with the outside world so I had to do other things, like keep a diary. I’ve also been having dinner with the captain, the sailors and the rest of the crew, it’s been fantastic.
“When I get back, I’ll go into the office and try and clear the backlog of email and see what I’ve missed. Then I’ll be going home for when the little ones get back.”