Asian Tsunami Heros

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Surfer Survived By Riding Tsunami

Saturday January 1, 2005
The Guardian

Surfer Martin Markwell had always dreamed of catching a really big wave but when it finally came along, it turned into a nightmare.

He was paddling on his surfboard on Sunday off the Hikkaduwa resort on Sri Lanka's southern coast when he was swept up by a tsunami and sent crashing over a beach and into a hotel restaurant.

"It was really terrible because I was surfing on a wave I wasn't supposed to be on," said Mr Markwell, 38, from Porthcawl, south Wales. "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."

His wife Vicki and son Jake looked on in horror from a hotel balcony. Miraculously, he managed to stay on his board until he reached the hotel, jumped off and waded to safety as the ocean rolled back to feed a much larger tsunami on its way.

The family regrouped and ran inland to safety.

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