Tsunami Disaster

 

 

 

 

 

Home
Up
Before & After

 

Back Home Up Next

How you can help
Donate online now to our appeal
Disasters Emergency Committee
Information about other aid agencies

Death toll
31.12.2004: Total number of dead by country: regular updates

Porthcawl Residents Survive Tsunami Disaster

Briton Surfs Tsunami, Survives
2005-1-1 15:03:11     CRIENGLISH.com
British surfer Martin Markwell had always dreamed of catching that perfect wave -- but when it finally came along, it was a nightmare.
Related Event: Asian Tsunami Disaster 

(Martin Markwell, 38 from New Road, Porthcawl, South Wales, UK was paddling on his surfboard on Sunday off the Hikkaduwa beach resort on Sri Lanka's southern coast when he was swept up by a tsunami wave.)

British surfer Martin Markwell had always dreamed of catching that perfect wave -- but when it finally came along, it was a nightmare.
Markwell was paddling on his surfboard Sunday off the popular Hikkaduwa beach resort on Sri Lanka's palm-fringed southern coast when he was swept up by a tsunami wave and sent crashing over a white sand beach and into a hotel restaurant.
"It was really terrible because I was surfing, I was really surfing on a wave I wasn't supposed to be on," he told Reuters.
"As an experienced surfer, when I saw the wave come I realized something was wrong, but I couldn't escape because my surfboard was tied to my ankle."
His wife Vicki and son Jake looked on in horror from a hotel balcony as he crashed toward the shore. Miraculously, he stayed atop his board until he reached the hotel, jumped off and waded to safety as the ocean rolled back to feed a much larger tsunami wave on its way.

The family regrouped and ran inland into jungle to safety just minutes before a giant tsunami wave 30 feet high crashed into Sri Lanka's coast, killing more than 28,500 people.

(Source: Reuters) Copyright of crienglish.com. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.

We believe that above surname should read "Hambrook" and not "Markwell" (Webmaster/Editor).

 

I surfed death wave

Jan 2 2005

Lucy Ballinger, Wales on Sunday

 

A WELSH dad waiting for the perfect wave off the palm-fringed coast of Sri Lanka had to surf the Boxing Day's killer tsunami to survive.

Martin Hambrook, from Porthcawl, paddled patiently on his surfboard in the waters off the island's southern coast, watched from the beach by partner Vicky Maxwell, 42, and their seven-year-old son Jai.

But when the tsunami swept Martin up, all Vicky and Jai could do was run to the safety of a hotel balcony and watch in horror as he tried to surf the massive wall of water to safety.

"It was really terrible because I was surfing on a wave I wasn't supposed to be on," said Martin, who has been surfing for at least 20 years.

"As an experienced surfer, when I saw the wave come I realised something was wrong, but I couldn't escape because my surfboard was tied to my ankle."

Amazingly, the 40-year-old stayed on his board as he was sent crashing over a white sand beach until he reached the hotel and leapt off in the restaurant as the ocean rolled back to feed a much larger, 30ft high wave.

The family fled to higher ground and safety. They had a lucky escape as Sri Lanka has been devastated by the unfolding tragedy with 29,000 confirmed dead so far, more than 12,000 injured and a million people homeless. It was one of the worst-hit countries.

Childhood friend Nick Newton Williams, from Porthcawl, has been desperately trying to get in touch with Martin all week since the tragedy on Boxing Day to find out if the family were safe.

Last night Wales on Sunday was able to tell him the family was OK.

He said: "They had been staying in the Hansa Surf Lodge in Hikkaduwa, and had the front room right on the beach overlooking the surf break where Martin spent his time surfing.

"It was totally wiped out by the tsunami, which is why we all got really worried and have been posting messages on boards and doing what we can to trace him.

"I have been sat here as have a number of friends, not able to get any more information.

"At one point we heard they were stuck in the jungle and Vicky had hurt her back badly. But as these pictures show they are OK and it is such a relief."

Martin, who worked in Somerfield until November, and Vicky save up to fly to Sri Lanka every year, and planned to spend three months there.

Despite being due back this month, the family has decided to stay on the island to help local people and friends to clear wreckage from the destroyed buildings.

 

Porthcawl Surfer Rode Tsunami Wave to Safety (PA News 2/1/05 3:34pm UK) By Antony Stone, PA
A veteran surfer has told how he was forced to ride a towering tsunami to save his life as it engulfed an idyllic Sri Lankan village.
Martin Hambrook, 40, from New Road, Porthcawl, south Wales, was in the sea off the island’s southern coast waiting for what he hoped would be a perfect wave.
Partner Vicky Maxwell, 42, and son Jai, seven, were watching from the beach as the horrific form of the tsunami appeared on the horizon.
The family of three fly to Sri Lanka every year and were staying at the Hansa Surf Lodge, in Hikkaduwa, when the giant wave hit on Boxing Day.
His partner and son were forced to flee to the safety of their nearby hotel balcony and watch in horror as the wave scooped up Mr Hambrook.
All three survived the devastation which has claimed thousands of lives and have opted to stay on the island to help local people clear wreckage.
“It was really terrible because I was surfing on a wave I wasn’t supposed to be on,” Mr Hambrook told Wales on Sunday in an exclusive interview.
“As an experienced surfer, when I saw the wave come I realised something was wrong, but I couldn’t escape because the surfboard was tied to my ankle.” Despite the ferocity of the wave Mr Hambrook stayed on his board as he was carried over the sandy beach right up to the hotel.
He leapt off in the restaurant as the sea withdrew and a second wave, bigger at 30ft high, rolled in. The family then fled to higher ground.

 

Wales' Millennium StadiumCardiff's Millennium Stadium is trying to stage a 'Live Aid' style concert to raise more than £1m for the Asian tsunami disaster appeal. Stadium bosses are in talks with some of the UK's top performers to mount the charity gig on 22 January.

 

 

BBC NEWS Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 17:01 GMT

Morgan backs tsunami aid concert
First Minister Rhodri Morgan has given his backing to a Welsh "Band Aid" concert to raise money for the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.

The report continues...

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Martin Hanbrook was surfing when the wave hit Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

People in Wales have already donated an estimated £3.5m in aid according to the Disaster Emergency Committee.

Meanwhile one couple from Porthcawl who were in Sri Lanka when the wave hit have decided to stay out in the country to help with the clean-up operation.

Surfer Martin Hambrook, 38, his girlfriend Vicky Maxwell, 41, and their son Jai were staying in a beachfront lodge in the popular surfing resort of Hikkaduwa.

Mr Hambrook was actually in the water when the wave came and managed to surf into land, ending up in the foyer of a hotel.

The couple, who went out in November for a three-month stay, were not heard from for quite a few days before a Reuters agency news report confirmed all three had survived.

They are now planning to stay to help clear up the wreckage left in the tsunami's wake, they told Reuters.

Web Updates ] News ] Entertainment ] Weather & Tides ] Photo Gallery ] Tourist Info ] Education ] Food & Drink ] Accommodation ] History ] Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire ] Clubs-Socs-Orgs ] Shops ] Services ] Sport ] Free Ads ] The Arts ] Young Talent ] Other Links ] Pets ] Website Contents ]
Copyright © 1974-2009. 3rd Eye Productions, Porthcawl, WALES. All Trademarks and Copyrights acknowledged.  Last modified: July 19, 2014