Two Aussie surfers remember taking down a plane hijacker who threatened to blow a bomb over Melbourne. They were settling into their journey to Kuala Lumpur on May 31, 2017, when a disturbance broke out farther down the plane.
Two heroic Aussie surfers took down a plane hijacker
In the words of Joyner, an ex-military man skilled in explosives disarmament, a terrorist was going to blow up the plane. However, Contu, who was listening to music through his headphones, did not believe his friend.
As reported by Daily Mail UK, Manodh Marks, a Sri Lankan, dashed past the two and declared, ‘I have a bomb,’ while brandishing a black gadget with flashing blue lights, which in the end was considered a bluetooth speaker.
After airline staff prevented Marks from gaining access to the cockpit, the two acted quickly to save the day. As Contu tackled the 26-year-old at the waist, Joyner jumped out of his seat and put the hijacker in a headlock.
Contu bravely pulled the hijacker’s singlet and was met by a huge plastic contraption with wires hanging out of it. In order to keep him from escaping, the officers used cable ties to tie his hands and feet together and strapped him to the seat.
“I pulled his shirt up and there’s this big round plastic thing staring at me with wires coming out of it. I put my hand on it and went ‘stuff it’. I ripped it off him and it didn’t go off. I gave it to a passenger and said to put it at the back of the plane,” said Contu, as quoted by Beach Grit.
The plane hijacker is “psychiatrically unwell”
Finally, the surfers had their dream come true in Indonesia and boarded a new plane to their next destination just a few hours later. Australian Bravery Decorations will be presented to the surfers on Wednesday by Governor-General David Hurley, in recognition of their bravery.
As per Daily Mail UK, attempting to seize control of an airplane was a first for Marks, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison with a nine-year no-parole period, making him the first person in Australia to get such a sentence. The Victorian Court of Appeal ruled that he was ‘psychiatrically unwell’ and reduced his sentence to eight years with a five-year non-parole period.