Fishing trip was saviour for trioFishing trip wassaviour for trioFishing trip wassaviour for trio
By KATE MCINTOSH
TWEED residents Paul White, Shane Hardy and Sam Everingham escaped the fury of the Asian tsu- nami with their lives and little more then the clothes on their back. The three mates were holidaying in Phuket over Christmas along with one other friend when the dis- aster struck. But the friends weren't on land, they were at sea. The boys who were out on a fishing trip 18km off the coast of Phi Phi Island when the tsunami first hit said the first sign of
trouble was when the ra- dio aboard the boat sud- denly crackled to life. "The radio started go- ing crazy, at first we couldn't understand a word, then we heard 'Tsu- nami, tsunami' and started to panic," Paul said. Sam said they arrived back to find upturned boats lining the harbour and a trail of destruction that had ravaged the once- idyllic tourist spot. "It was a really eerie feeling, we just couldn't believe we were still alive," Sam said. Being at sea when the waves hit may have saved
their lives. "If we hadn't lined up the fishing trip, we prob- ably would have been down at the pub watching the cricket and who knows what might have happened," Sam said. Sam said their resort at Patong Beach in Phuket had been one of the hard- est hit in the area. "Our room was filled with water and dead fish, all our gear had been washed away," he said. "There was a car in the resort pool and every- where, just total destruc- tion." The boys agreed the
trip was something that would stay with them for a long time and their re- lief at coming out of the disaster unscathed was tempered by stories of those who had lost loved ones. "There really is a lot of shock. Sometimes you close your eyes and see it happening all over again," Paul said. The trio, who returned home on January 4, said the fear of disease and the scale of the human trage- dy unfolding around them eventually made them de- cide to cut their trip short.