Tasmanian surfers survive tsunami - Tourism Indonesia




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tasmanian surfers survive tsunami

Three Tasmanians holidaying in Indonesia have survived the tsunami which wiped out part of a holiday resort owned by a Tasmanian man.

James Hutchison, Brad Peters and Tom Fraser from Sisters Beach were holidaying on the Mentawai Islands at Macaroni's Resort.

The families of three Tasmanian men have been in contact with them this morning.

A surf website is reporting that the resort had "experienced a level of devastation that has rendered the resort inoperable".

The report posted on Surfaid by one of the organisation's staff members described a three-metre high tsunami crashing through the resort and boats knocking together, then bursting into flames.

The staff member, Tom Plummer, said guests and crew from one boat were washed into the jungle and took more than an hour to find their way back to the beach.

Resort owner Mark Loughran, also from Sisters Beach, has reported on Facebook that staff and visitors are safe and are being evacuated, but part of the complex was destroyed.

James Hutchison's mother, Lynn, says she was alarmed to hear just how narrow his escape was.

"They felt the earthquake, which scared them," she said.

"They were sitting in the main part of the bar restaurant of the resort and James said 'well what if there's a tsunami? We'd better run upstairs to the very top floor of the resort' and five minutes later the wave came."

"[We] didn't actually realise the severity of it until we actually spoke to James.

"When he said that they really thought they had a 50/50 chance of surviving only being on the top floor of that building. They didn't know whether they were going to make it or not.

"One of the tourists I think didn't make it up the stairs and had to hang on for dear life and some of the Indonesian women didn't make it and had to cling to the coconut palm trees," she said.

Mrs Hutchison says the men have made it to a nearby village which was not affected.

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