Wave Without Warning
It was the day after Christmas 2004, beaches everywhere were flooded with tourists from around the world, especially those escaping the cold weather.
Boxing day 2004, beaches across the coasts of Asia were flooded with foreign tourists escaping from the cold back at home. Families scattered across beaches with their children playing in the sand on an early Sunday morning.
At 7:58 am, on a bright beautiful December 26 morning a 9.1 magnitude earthquake ripped through the Indian ocean with the epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra. Cities around were destroyed as tsunamis as high as 30 metres hit islands and villages destroying anything in its path. 14 different countries that couldn’t stop the disaster, and without any warnings the waves washed up everything. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand etc.
Different parts of Thailand were hit multiple times, with time intervals of one and a half hours in between. Staying in a small uphill resort was my family and I. Early morning on boxing day right after Christmas resulted in not as many people down at the beach. I was on holiday with his wife and children aged three and one. I was on okay swimmer whereas my wife and kids weren’t as great. Scheduled to go windsurfing at 9:30, the guide never came. As I was waiting to go windsurfing, the tide receded rapidly far out into the ocean, being curious, me and my family followed the tide to find it frothing meters away from where it was just a few moments ago. It was greatly unusual to see white water at such a low tide as it continues to froth. My children were fascinated and played on the beach with no care in the world. But as the tide began to froth even more than it was doing moments ago, white water becoming more frequent. Then the tide swept everything up.
As the tide was pushing all those people who decided to go for a nice swim back up to shore, it was getting higher and higher. Tossing everyone in its wave, acting with instinct I had to think fast and grab his kids, who were luckily wearing arm floaties that they despised in the first place as all kids do. Surging with adrenaline, struggling to swim with two kids under my arms I had to find my wife who I thought would be struggling. As I look for my wife I see her being helped by the windsurfer guide that arrived not too late, me and my family ran onto the beach and deserted everything that we brought to save ourselves and went up towards the resort. Encouraging my family to keep going to safe land and leaving the beach was instinct. The only thing on my mind was family and nothing else. My instincts kicked in during a time of need which saved my life and my family. Everyone at the resort watched below at the damage being done by waves. No one had no idea what was happening, everyone was in shock not knowing what just happened. Tourists and locals together watched in confusion and shock as the waves kept coming and coming until the area was flooded and destroyed. Everyone that was at the resort and beach made it back to safety.
Imagine yourself in that situation. No warning or signs, but another day on holiday at the beach, an early start to boxing day but the tide recedes rapidly. Moments later being washed up in the waves, struggling as you’re in shock, but adrenaline and instincts kick in and you’re fighting for your life. But as mentioned earlier, Mr. Hunter only helped out his family while others at the beach were also caught in the wave. You could think it was a selfish act, just deserting those people. But when disaster strikes, you need to think fast and think between choosing family or strangers.