|January 1st, 2005|
crazy, but apparently true (tsunami) info
Briton Surfs Tsunami, Survives
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Dec 31, 10:41 AM (ET)
HIKKADUWA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - 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.