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Old 12-27-2004, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default NEWS (Tsunami) from Phuket & Langkawi.


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2) Udated report on Phuket Island's status. http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=452

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************************************************** *********

<font color="blue">Report received from Rowdy (ex "Rowdy's Breakfast Show", SEA cruiser's Net, Phuket). Thank you Rowdy!</font id="blue">


"This is a report of my personal observations of the results of the tidal wave on December 26th in Phuket. Everything is from my personal observation, unless stated differently. I did not feel the earthquake, and had no damage myself.

After hearing a report of the tidal wave about 11:30, I tried to phone various friends, but the mobile phone system was down and not working. I decided to drive down to see Leslie Hand and see if anything could be done for anyone and see how much damage had occurred. Longs lines at the PTT service station where I filled up with gas (petrol) and then drove down to Ao Chalong. I drive into the parking lot at Kan Eng 2 restaurant and could see signs of water in the parking lot, but no major damage visible, so I returned to the main road. The police had blocked the road to the water from the Ao Chalong circle, so I was unable to go there. Leslie was not home, nor were Nick and Marilyn Band, so I proceeded on to Rawai.

The surge had come over the beach and sea wall along the road, and the road was closed about 1/3 of the way down the beach. Much debris had been washed over the road to the other side. From there I retraced my way North, and cut across to Don's Cafe, and then down to Nai Harn Beach. This was where the major damage started to be seen. The wave had come all the way up the beach and through the parking lot at the top of this hill area and then down to the road on the other side. Many beach chairs, beach cushions, and other litter was scattered everywhere. I saw Jonno and Leslie there on their motorbikes and both were going to Ao Sane restaurant to check on friend's vehicles. I left my truck (and Spot) in the parking lot and got on the back of Leslie's bike and we proceeded toward the Yacht Club Hotel . The area of restaurants and shops in front of the hotel was destroyed. Nothing remained except the cement slabs with walls, roofs piled up against the base of the hill. Coconut Restaurant is totally gone. The water had reached about a meter high at the underpass of the hotel, but seemingly no major damage.

Ao Sane restaurant is gone. Nothing remains but the cement slab. The low lying bungalows are destroyed also. Nick Band's truck was sitting on the beach, obviously having been rolled over and back to upright. Jim (/Remington)/ truck was on top of the rocks at the extreme left end of the beach, obviously rolled over many times. A brand new range rover with red license plates was sitting upright on the beach in front of where the restaurant used to be.

We talked to a tourist who had walked down to the beach from her bungalow and was noticing how low the water was. Someone said it was just full moon spring tides, but she thought "it wasn't that low a few minutes ago", and then the water started coming back in and she ran for high ground. After the water receded, she went to her bungalow to find the walls collapsed and the roof on top of everything she owned except a beach bag and 50 bhat.

Nick and Marilyn (/Emerald Blue) /were anchored on the South side of the bay, and reported seeing Tim and Leonie Cousens house destroyed by the wave. They were living in their other house where Tim is recovering from a stroke suffered 6 weeks ago on the oil rig. Leonie was walking her dogs on the beach and was caught by the wave and drowned. She was one of the leaders of the Phuket Animal Welfare Society and a wonderful person, and will be sorely missed.

Many people were gathered at the top of the road because of reports of a second wave coming, the first one had been about 20 feet high, and the second was reported to be even higher. This did not make sense to me, but we decided to go back to my truck, as there was nothing to be done for anyone at Ao Sane.

We left Leslie's bike at Stan Randell's house and decided to drive up the west coast. Kata was very hard hit. The cluster of restaurants south of the Boat House are destroyed--major physical damage. The water came through the Boat House at about 4 feet at the art gallery. Broken glass everywhere, piano upside down in the bar, staff were trying to clean up. It will be closed for months I would think.

Across the street, it was business as usual in all the restaurants. Some mud and debris on the road. Driving past Club Med, large river of mud and debris had come out their main entrance. The Bar/shop area south of Kata Village had suffered major damage. Abandoned motor bikes covered with mud and debris were along the road, the store fronts were all broken in.

The Karon area was heavily damaged along the road. All the shop fronts were broken in. The hotels behind the beach seemed to be ok. The road was in bad shape, bricks torn out,. large holes in the side and center. Vehicles and motor bikes abandoned along the road.

Going over the hill toward Meridian many people (tourists and Thais) along the side of the road, looking like refugees. Obviously afraid of a second wave. Could see nothing of any damage to Meridian. Many, many people on the hill going north toward Patong. We decided to have a go at getting through the Patong beach road. It was an absolute disaster. Power lines down, bikes and cars on the side and middle of the road 500 meters from the beach. The road was torn up badly, but the extent of the damage was nothing compare to the Patong beach road area. It is destroyed. One of the big para sail speedboats was in the middle of the road, and half of another. Two hobie cats pushed up on the right side of the road onto shops. Lots of abandoned cars, bikes and other debris on the road. Looking up the side streets like Soi Post Office you could see great piles of vehicles and rubbish piled up at the head of the roads, having been pushed their by the waves. Very difficult driving down the road, lots of debris and wreckage everywhere. As we approached Soi Bangla it was getting worse, and I was starting to worry about whether on not we could get through. Also, occasionally groups of people would be running by, looking very scared, and I was wondering if we had done a stupid thing after all. Just before Soi Bangla, it looked like might be impassable, but I drove on the sidewalks and around wrecks and managed to make the right turn. Straight on was totally impassable--even on a motor bike. The road was absolutely blocked with wreckage. The water in Soi bangla had not drained out (as usual) and was about 18 inches deep. We drove on up, hoping not to find an open man hole cover and finally dried out at the area of the second main road back from the beach (about 500 yards). We turned left, and that road was the rough extent of the damage, everything beach ward a mess, on the right fine. Police at the corner said a new wave was coming, but not as big as the first and should be there in about an hour.

We turned left at the Phuket intersection and went back down to the beach. The north corner of Patong was very hard hit, buildings just GONE, much debris on the road. Driving toward Kamala along the north shore, the road was very badly damaged, potholes and wreckage. Many refugees on top of the Patong /Kamala hill. Kamala beach area is destroyed. All the shops, restaurants are gone or badly damaged. Wrecked cars on the right and left sides of the road, three cars in a small creek on left about 1/2 through the town. Fantasia looks fine, just small amount of debris in the parking lot corner.

We drove on out to the Heroines Monument and down to the boat lagoon. There, the water had risen to about 4 feet over the boardwalks, but just below the shop floors entrances so minimal damage.

Yachts in Nai Harn all seemed to be ok, just went up when the water went up, and down when it went down. I have heard some rumors of boats on the beach in Ao Chalong, but I cannot confirm this. There must have been major loss of life in Patong judging from the extent of the damage. I understand that there was major damage in Tuaga marina and Rebak marina in Langkawi".

The Phuket Gazette has extensive coverage of the damage so more information is available at www.Phuketgazette.com
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:33 PM   #2
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My Boat was in Rebak Marina in Langkawi. Rebak marina is GONE. All docks destroyed. Two boats sank - all the others sustained some damage. A lot of rudders were damaged and there is a constant stream of boats going on to the hard stand. My boat - a 33' steel sloop sustained minor rudder damage, and a few good dents.

Talaga harbour is GONE. Eight boats sank, all the others sustained damage. The survivors are heading south to Rebak hard stand (or the wavemaster's hard stand) to await their turn to be hauled out and repaired.

I was on the beach when the wave hit - learned how to run again.

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Old 12-28-2004, 05:36 PM   #3
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So sorry to hear about your damage. How are the yachts that were at anchor off Kuah?[?]

Any news from the marinas on Phuket?[?] There would be a large fleet there preparing to cross the Indian Ocean in January.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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<font color="red">PLEASE NOTE:</font id="red">

A list of yachts & their status has been submitted by Richard H Donaldson-Alves - Net controller of the SE Asia Maritime Mobile Net. Any updates will be posted as and when received.

Go to: http://www.cruiser.co.za/Tsunami1.asp (<font color="blue">Please spread the word - MANY people are concerned</font id="blue">)

Hopefully, we will also get some more "first-hand" reports posted here on this board to get a better understanding of what everyone experienced. Please send reports for inclusion here to the Webmaster
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:32 AM   #5
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<font color="blue">2nd Report from Rowdy </font id="blue">- Thank you Rowdy!

"First, thank you so much for all who have written expressing concern about what has happened out here. I am fine, Spot (the dog) is fine, the house is fine, and though it is a major disaster, the specific areas that are affected are limited. Basically, it is beaches that have a western exposure that have been the most hit. Also, the depth of the destruction is for 500 yards or less. It is not like a typhoon that blows away the whole area. In my letter yesterday, I was talking about the terrible destruction to the Boat House hotel, the road right in front had debris on it, and the restaurants right on the other side of the road had people enjoying their beers and pizza. On the rest of the island, things are quite normal. The airport was open yesterday afternoon after the debris was cleared off the runway, the new bridge off the island is open--though the old, low one is still closed. The phone system is working as usual (crappy) and Loxinfo is broken down half the time per normal.

The latest casualty report is 934 cfmd dead, 2720 missing and 10063 injured country wide. The area north of phuket will have been hit very hard (Kao Lak and Thap La MU), and reports from that area are much delayed and incomplete. Very little has come in from the many beach resorts along the Ko Lanta coast, which are right on the sea and tend to be quite low. I just had a email from a friend who lives on a river and he said that at low water there was suddenly a 16 foot wall of water surging up the river, and it had been double that outside. Phi Phi island, the resort island east of Phuket, was hit very hard. It is low in the center, and there are reports of hundreds of bodies on the beaches.

Ao Chalong, the bay on the east (safe) side of the island had two boats go up on the beach. Those are the only two boat problems on the island so far as I can find out. S/Y Harmony said that their depth sounder went from 7 to 37 feet. It was VERY lucky that it hit at low tide, and early before many people would have gone to the beaches.

There was no warning given - the Pacific has an organized system because of the greater frequency of these things (I can't spell tsunumi), but they may rethink their priorties here, I suppose.

Back to boats, there is a very small river/canal seperating Phuket from Ko Siri --you can't even see the channel on most maps. This is where the fishing port is located, and there are about 100 large (40-60 foot) fishing boats crammed into and under the bridge, a half dozen sunk. When I saw that yesterday, I said, oh my, fish are going to be in short supply. Sure enough, went to the market to get two small fish for the dogs and the guy said "mai mei" (no have).

Langkawi was hit much harder in the yacht department, as two marinas are open to the sea. Rebak and Taluga are basicly destroyed. Boats sunk are Phoenix, Tri Odyssey, and Sympatico. Sympatico owner had beach cottage and that is gone also, and nobody has seen her since the wave.

On the beach are Ikureke, Spellbound, Maloya, Pelangai. No fixed address floating but no rudders. Something special floating with major damage, Bererhai, Big Boy and Espirito are now anchored outside of Rebak with some damage.

Deusa and Tenacity2 saved a number of boats broken loose from Taluaga, otherwise they would have drifted to Sumatra. Alpha{?} Calliste (damaged as are the rest of this list) coal miner's dream, little do, namaste, nemara, santushi, and pulu satu (sinking).

Many tourists are among the casualties here. The hospitals are requesting clothing and blood. Many of the injured/dead were just in swimming suits, so sometimes are hard to identify. A fair number of children seperated from their parents also. The Phuketgazette.com had a picture of a two year old who was ok but no family and a reply came in from Finland within an hour. Magic things when these things work. Interesting web site.

They have laid on extra flights to Bangkok, and have hotels organized to take care of the evacuees. I can't think of much else to add. Horrible as it is, it could have been much worse."


<font color="blue">(Addition)</font id="blue">

Harry and Susan Usher are ok, boat ok, but house is gone.

Michele Pippen is OK I have spoken to her today. She

spent a less than pleasant hour up a tree watching her

house wash away and then walked to Talaga to find that

Simpatico had sunk as well.

Best wishes Phil and Ines.

P.S. Keep it coming each piece of information makes

the picture clearer.

Berahi now hauled out at Rebak.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:25 AM   #6
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I was very sorry to hear about Michele and Sympatico.

I've put a link at the bottom of my CV page with a few pictures of what is left of Rebak.
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:02 PM   #7
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<font color="blue">Submitted by Rowdy.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

<font color="red">Please note copyrights!!!</font id="red">

Dear Rowdy,

Thanks so much for your two great reports. Here's ours.

Thanks so much for asking how we are. By now you must have received our short note saying we are fine and will come back to you as soon as things have calmed down. Well, everything is getting back to normal in a somewhat altered world swept away by powerful water. Awesome and scary the power of the elements, whether it is air, fire or water.

Fortunately for us we were sitting at anchor in a sheltered bay outside of Telaga Harbour Marina, protected by two small man-made islands. We had chosen this spot to spend Christmas and New Year as it is peaceful and beautiful, protected from the North-east trade winds, with stunning views of the Matchincang range of mountains, forest and beach. The two little islands behind us are ideal for Tara to run free on without hassle from anyone. So there we were on Boxing Day and Robert had decided to look up the tide tables for the area to correct the tide clock. Robert told me it was high tide. I looked towards the shore and rather scathingly told him that it certainly was not, the water was right out and the fishing boats were high and dry on the sand. Being nearly full moon this was totally possible and so we exchanged some rather acrimonious comments, such as - do you think I am stupid and can't read the tables - well my eyes aren't deceiving me and the water is right out - these tables are quite correct - maybe you are in the wrong hemisphere - look I'm not the village idiot you know.

At that moment a call on channel 69 of the VHF alerted us that there were strange waves breaking outside. Looking up I saw a great wave curling and breaking before the entrance gap of the islands, the sunlight shining through the green water like a surfer's dream come true. Only it shouldn't have been there and when Nature plays a trick like that the mind won't register the change and says - oh no, that's not possible. I shouted for Robert to come and look and he leapt up from the computer, took one glance and said - start the motor. We were stern to the flooding water pouring through the entrance and he had the presence of mind to reverse into it, stretching out our anchor chain away from the beach and even though it walloped into us and shoved us forward it did not pull out the anchor due to the full force of our powerful motor. It swept under us and roared up the beach only to return in full force once again from the other direction. By this time we were turned sideways on with our beam to the tossing waves which chucked us around like a matchstick. But Deusa is a very strong matchstick and although all our belongings down below were thrown to the floor, she and ourselves suffered no damage at all - what a miracle.

The lagoon became a swirling bathtub with the sea rushing in and out almost like it was breathing. Every few minutes the surge would change direction after the initial three waves that came pounding in. The marina basin lies inside a protected channel, is newly built and quite solid. It was full of yachts, not one empty berth. We watched in horror as the yachts tied up in there started throwing backwards and forwards clashing masts and then the strangest thing happened; they all started moving in a macabre carnival carousel, whirling in great circles around the marina in the swirl of rushing water, the pontoons wrenched from their pilings. As the water started to recede they poured out through the channel, spat into the lagoon where we were anchored. The first boat out we recognised - Kihoe - belonging to a friend of ours who is now land-based.

Deusa by now was stabilised and holding on her anchor so we leapt into the dinghy and headed for Kihoe, climbing on board to drop the anchor. However, our scrabbling fingers were unaccustomed to the different anchoring set up and we were being swept towards the beach and rocks. So we then found some lines and made one fast to a cleat and tried to tow her to a nearby mooring but to no avail. Therefore the only solution was to guide her out through the gap between the two small islands and in the comparative calm of the open ocean try and get an anchor out. With both of us in the dinghy and using the 25hp motor to push the stern and then the bow we managed to steer her clear of deadly hazards as the sea swept her out. The trouble was that the sea was still moving in and out in a weird tidal flow and we only had a few moments to release the anchor before she would be swept back in again. The story ends well - we got the anchor down and she was safe.

We then went on to do this with five or six other boats as they drifted free of the tangled mess coming from the marina. Some still had pontoons tied to them which we had to cut free. Most boats were locked and put away for the Christmas holidays while owners travelled to visit family and friends. It was an interesting challenge to try and free anchor chains from the windlasses, drag the chain out of the locker across the deck and then not get our feet caught in it as we dropped the anchor. One doesn't think of the danger at the time and only afterwards, on reflection does one shudder to play the -what if- game. A catamaran that we rescued was totally surrounded by pontoons that were a big drag in the current. We got them cut away and then a floating fisherman's hut with rusty old tin roofing came and lay right across the anchor rope (it had some chain but mostly rope) with the roof resting precariously near the rope. Robert was in the dinghy but the current was so swift he could not push the hut away without getting swept under the catamaran so we just had to hope it wouldn't chafe. And it didn't, as it finally drifted loose and went off to sea where the fisherfolk rescued it.

One poor boat we were unable to help as it had no anchor on board and was locked. Sadly we saw her drift away as we went after others with visible anchors. But she has a charmed life because she drifted into the rocks where she settled for the night and we watched her by the light of the full moon as she gently lay over to rest at low tide. Next morning she was gone - out to sea we presumed. But no, the fishermen had found her and towed her back to safety in the harbour, some-one had loaned an anchor and she was rescued with only a few scratches.

Dazed and battered people were saving their boats all around us, motoring out to deep water away from the shore, dropping their anchors and inspecting their injuries. One French aluminium boat was punctured on both sides above the waterline and had stuffed mattresses and pillows into the gaping wounds.

Right now there are three boats on the beach behind us on the island. A concrete boat that is resting on rocks and sand with a hole in her hull. Her owner will arrive tomorrow and will have to mix some cement before moving her. A French fibreglass boat lies near her with her keel firmly wedged in the sand. Yesterday there was a big digging session and then we were all on the beach until 2am trying to shift her with a tug boat and a power boat. Moved her about three metres so will try again today. There is also a very surprised trimaran who had pottered over to the beach at high tide to do some minor repairs and before he knew what was happening the water went all out and then all in and he was swept up to the tree line, far higher than he ever anticipated!! Now he says he will settle down for a long stay and do major repairs! A friend of ours has lost her boat, holed and sunk in Telaga, her house swept away from the beach, her car and computer gone. As a yacht broker all her work is on the computer - she is wiped out.

Rebak Marina some two nautical miles from Telaga Harbour had a similar experience with all boats and pontoons swept out to sea. These two marinas that were considered so safe are on the west coast of Langkawi where the major surge of water happened. Who, in their wildest dreams, thinks of Tsunamis when storing their boat or thinking of a safe haven. Many people use their boats as retirement homes and have settled comfortably into marina life with light, water, air-con and companionship. This is now all torn apart in a few short hours and they are all anchored out, bewildered and forlorn. The local staff of these two marinas were totally shell-shocked and unable to do much at all. The Navy Police came around in their big blue power boats but when asked to help anchor boats, were unable to do so.

However, they did go around to everyone who was on board, enquiring if they were OK. Basically the yachting community all helped each other as they always do and there are lots of unsung heroes out there doing good things. Now there is only the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club that has marina facilities in Langkawi and it is full to bursting. Amazingly it suffered very little damage as the tsunami had to turn a corner and run up the channel and so it took the sting out of the waves.

One boat from Rebak was sunk, a Warren Catamaran called Bambola. We took Deusa down to Rebak to talk to people there and on our way sailing back we saw something strange in the water about a mile away. Getting closer we saw the upturned red hull of a boat, with a dinghy attached and thought with horror of people adrift, no radio, no water. No such thing - as we got closer they waved us away shouting that there were trailing lines and would get caught in our prop. They were a salvage operation, diving on the hull, pulling out of it what they could. When we asked the name of the boat they said they didn't know and acted most suspiciously, saying they were working for Rebak Marina. Later we phoned Rebak to give the GPS position of the wreck and they said they knew nothing of people doing salvage for them. They were welcome to what they could get, the boat was well out to sea - but their manner was most suspect - we wonder who they were? By the way the floating hazard was Bambola.

Of course in disasters like this there are lots of rumours flying around and one that kept on threatening us was that there were aftershocks in Sumatra and that we should expect another wave. We all upped anchor and moved further offshore where we spent an anxious Boxing Day night watching the flotsam and jetsam drift past, some quite large and dangerous pieces of pontoon, logs and unidentified objects. The weird thing was that the currents were not running normally with an incoming tide running north and out moving south. It was switching every ten minutes or so and just when something particularly nasty had drifted past and seemed out of harms way, oh no! here it comes back again. The strange movement of the sea, the awful power of the water, the unexpectedness of it all, left everyone exhausted and nervous, almost like Nature had played a foul trick and the subconscious was picking up on something that the conscious was not really registering.

What happened to all of us in Langkawi was nothing in comparison to the devastation everywhere else and as the death toll rises we count ourselves so lucky we are all here and unhurt.

Thank you again for getting in touch with us.

Much love Robert and Rosemary


PS Michelle is OK we have spoken to her. What of Harry and Susan of Eos?
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:07 PM   #8
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<font color="blue">Submitted by Rowdy.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

<font color="red">Please observe copyrights!!</font id="red">

Hi...we received this this morning from Kihoe, it's all about the boats in Langkawi.

Thanks for your message. I have decided to compete on length.

Because we had attended a medical appointment for Samantha in Penang on Xmas Eve, after tree dressing and present wrapping we ended up with only four hours sleep into Xmas Day. Therefore, after the culinary excesses of the season, we did not rise too early on Boxing Day.

Who says alcohol is bad for you! But for that, our earlier plan had been to breakfast at the Red Tomato on Pantai Cenang Beach. We could so easily have been sitting in the beach restaurant, watching Samantha playing on the sands, when the wave hit.

Kihoe looked after herself. As soon as the marina started to break up she broke her lines and floated out with the after surge. Robert and Rosemary on Deusa, at anchor outside off the beach, saw her coming and used there dinghy to help her navigate around the new islands. Once she was outside they jumped on board and dropped her anchor. (We definitely owe them a couple of tubes of Smarties.) By the time we arrived at the marina Kihoe was already lying serenely outside and bone dry.

We were in our apartment in Kuah when the waves hit. Our first indication of trouble was receiving a distraught phone call from Anne at the marina office saying "Come now, Come now, big trouble, Telaga finished, Kihoe already gone, marina finished, staff gone, come now". We could not get her to say what had happened.

We quickly dressed and set off in the car for the half hour drive to Telaga Harbour wondering what had happened. Could there have been a freak storm? There were no signs of it on the roads. Perhaps a fire, surely not terrorists! We had not heard yet about the earthquake.

It was not until we passed Kuala Teriang (on the junction near the 'other' Sheraton) that we knew. The first indication was water on the wrong side of the road, then fishing boats in the Mosque car park, then finally the fishing village flattened... People died here! Michelle Pippen lost her beach house, she was in it at the time and her ordeal and survival, only later to hear that she also had lost Sympatico, is a story that deserves telling separately.

By the time we arrived at the Marina an hour must alredy have passed since the event. It was entire chaos, only the fuel dock, the working jetty and a short piece of pontoon at the bottom of the entrance ramp had survived. The rest had completely disappeared, although most, if not all, of the piles were standing. Many boats were gone and could be seen outside. We could not see Kihoe and did not yet know where she was, although we did get a message that she was safe.

Some unsecured boats were still whizzing around the harbour carried by bizarre currents. Most unmanned, some with crew helpless aboard, as they slammed into the piles and each other, like some crazy bumper car derby.

We saw one guy just finish getting his boat tied to the pontoon in front of us when onlookers began screaming 'get out! get out!' Another surge was coming. He was finally persuaded to leave only seconds before the large cat 'Spellbound', doing at least ten knots backwards, wiped his boat off the pontoon again.

I watched Skana, another large cat, speed sideways into a pile. The shock put her starboard hull completely underwater for a moment, and she must have been holed. Santushti had broken free from a mooring and was zooming in and out of the marina, miraculously missing everything. She finally wrapped her bow line round a pile and settled there. We don't know whether it was then or earlier that she lost her bowsprit.

Tri-Oddysey had been inverted by the first wave. Ruth normally takes a morning walk while Gerry stays on board. On this day he had un-typically joined her and they both watched from the shore as she flipped, broke up and sank. Had they been on board they would not have survived. They have lost everything including credit cards, clothes and passports. Sympatico was lost at this time, probably our Macgregor too! At least four boats were already sunk, by the end of the day that had became eight, with more damaged and taking water.

It was still very dangerous out there, but a couple of dinghies were doing what they could to catch and stabilize boats. There was a shortage of dinghies. Most of those in the water had been lost in the surges. Mine had gone out with Kihoe. It was nearly two hours before things had calmed enough for me to hitch a ride out to her.

She was remarkably secure. The dinghy on her stern must have served as a bumper because her davits are bent. Her pulpit has been bent and torn out and the bow rollers destroyed. However, down below she was bone dry and everything in its normal place.

There were reports of another wave coming in an hour. So I started getting ready to move her. The engine started up straight away, but began to fill the bilge with cooling water. Also, the bow roller was acting as a chain stopper, so there was no way of lifting the anchor quickly.

Just before the next wave was due Deusa took me off, and I spent the next three hours with them, being fed tea and sandwiches (more Smarties) while we waited. The reports kept coming on VHF of more waves due but they were always somehow an hour away. They never seemed to make sense, but better safe than sorry. However, we could get no confirmation from Phuket that they hat been hit again so, eventually we decided to ignore the doomsayers.

I had planned to move Kihoe inside the islands, but there were now several boats on the beaches that might come loose overnight, so we left her where she was with Deusa and Why Knot both keeping an eye.

The following day we got on board and fixed the engine. I had blown a welsh plug on the manifold so stuffed the hole with epoxy putty. Brian from Why Knot brought a five foot scaffold pole over and we (mostly he) modified the already modified bow roller sufficient to allow the chain to pass. We raised the anchor, albeit very slowly, and moved Kihoe round to Bass Harbour. The doomsayers were back... more VHF messages of waves coming.

One unidentified idiot even announced 'Red Alert, Red Alert, Penang had just been hit again with a wave of the same ferocity as yesterday'. (How his VHF message reached us from Penang, no-one has explained, nor how the wave reached Penang BEFORE Langkawi. However, there were now reports of a tidal wave coming from Penang!!!!! We ignored them.

I had been lucky enough to throw myself at the mercy of the RLYC as being unable to anchor shortly before they decided to survey their marina for damage before admitting new boats. So we are now lucky enough to be tied up alongside there.

Rebak is destroyed. In my opinion it would have survived if better constructed and maintained. Like the yacht club, which rode out the waves and survived, the surge hit D Dock side on. However the piles all broke like matchsticks and the dock floated away, breaking up, to take out C Dock then B Dock and eventually A Dock.

Telaga unfortunately took the wave end on... NO pontoon system is designed to have one end 18 feet higher than the other.

Full marks to Telaga Harbour and the yachties there for the many rescues and support. A few injuries but nobody died! (I did hear that a tourist had been swept off the beach at Burau Bay, next door). I also hear that funds are already approved for the re-build and a team arriving from Singapore next week to begin construction. That's what happens when you have a

mariner in charge!

There are many more stories, particularly of the event itself and how people survived. We are thinking of collating them and mounting a website.

Glad to hear you are both OK.

Love from Samantha (who can now say Salami... what a benign name for such a

destructive force), Mary Ann and Tim.

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Old 12-30-2004, 06:39 PM   #9
Posts: n/a

<font color="blue">Submitted by Rowdy.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

<font color="red">Please observe copyrights!</font id="red">

As I have said, there is a "complete disconnect" between one world and another. Away from the west coast beaches, everything is totally normal.

However, there is not enough plywood to make coffins, and my friend the shipwright has stopped all other work to make coffins - especially large ones for tourists. I went to the "Natural" restaurant last night and it was very busy with happy people - more tourists than usual. The waitress said they had been very busy since the 26th, probably because so many of the beach restaurants are gone.

I am trying to organize a way for donations to be sent promptly. I will advise as soon possible.


Cabinet approves B2.8bn in emergency aid

PHUKET: The Cabinet yesterday approved a 2.8-billion-baht emergency relief budget to help relieve the suffering of those affected by December 26 Tsunami.

Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula said that during a video-conference Cabinet meeting in Phuket yesterday morning, PM Thaksin ordered that the search for bodies in the areas of the Phi Phi Islands and Khao Lak be intensified.

Bodies are now piling up in the corridors of the island’s three government hospitals, where facilities are inadequate to keep them all in cold storage.

K. Bhokin said there was a also shortage of coffins and cloth material with which to wrap recovered bodies. Identification was a problem and skin samples are being collected from each corpse in order to aid in their identification at a later date.

As the number of unidentified bodies continues to increase by the minute, police have been ordered to guard the corpses to prevent thieves from stealing any valuables they might be wearing, he added.

Figures released by the the Department for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation at midday confirmed 1,010 dead and 7,572 wounded, though the numbers are likely to grow higher as more corpses are recovered.

Phang Nga has so far seen the highest number of confirmed deaths at 537, followed by Phuket with 203 deaths, Krabi with 130 and Ranong with 129.

K. Bhokin said that many bodies were still trapped in the basement of Ocean Shopping Mall on the beach road in Patong, and that conditions there had made their removal difficult. Many of the bodies were bloated and decaying, he said.

Pol Gen Kovit Wattana, Commander of Royal Thai Police, told the "Gazette" that he had already ordered police from throughout Thailand to mobilize and assist in the relief and recovery effort. Some units have already arrived, he said.

Deputy Labor Minister Nakorn Silapa-acha said his Ministry would ensure that injured survivors would continue to collect regular salaries from their employers, and that those from other parts of Thailand wishing to return home could take advantage of free transport being arranged by the Ministry. Information was available at local Labor Offices, he said.

Phuket Marine Police Superintendent Pol Col Anant Huangsaithong said that efforts to return recovered bodies from the Phi Phi Islands had

been hampered because of lack of assistance, as many local people were too afraid [of another tidal wave] to take their vessels to sea to assist in the operation.

He said he expected to recover more bodies from Phi Phi during the afternoon.

The "Gazette" has since confirmed that at around 4 pm, some 400 bodies arrived at Phuket’s Deep Sea Port from the Phi Phi Islands.

To see pictures related to this story, please go to


Brought to you by:

The Phuke t Gazette

09:58 local time (GMT +7)
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:22 PM   #10
Posts: n/a

<font color="blue">Submitted by Richard Donaldson-Alves.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

<font color="red">Please observe copyrights!</font id="red">

Dear Bob,

Here is an email I received from Yacht Friends in Galle - Sri Lanka, Galle has been completely trashed as much of the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Walt and Jane on "Callisto" survived - there were only 4/5 yachts in Galle when the the Boxing Day Tsunami arrived :


Richard Donaldson-Alves


Mobile Maritime Net

South East Asian Waters

14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily

Wx @ 0055 Z daily


We rode out the tsunami in Galle with Jose in Slovenian yacht "Vesna" and Antonio in Italian yacht "Sula". We are all well, the status of the yachts are:

"Callisto" has a damaged rudder and damage to topsides from being forced under a pier;

"Vesna" suffered rudder and skeg damage and engine damage from overheating due to debris;

"Sula" was washed upon a quay, other damage not known at this time.

We had three or four extreme high water events. The first of which tore all the vessels from their moorings, one of which lifted a huge dredge upon the quay and the last of which washed "Sula" onto the quay. There were many unmanned vessels including one ship, several harbor craft and 15 to 20 fishing boats which were drifting around the harbor. They were all washed out of the harbor, as were we, after the first high water. As the high waters returned these unmanned vessels were washed back into the harbor at 6 to 8 knots where they entered a huge eddy in the harbor formed by the inrushing water. At each excursion boats were washed into the breakwater, the piers and each other. Many were sunk or grounded. It was a truly chaotic day. It was fully eight hours before "Callisto" was finally safely moored alongside. The unmanned ship was one of the biggest hazards in the harbor. She left and returned to the harbor on at least four occasions and finally remained in the harbor adrift to threaten us throughout the night.

Walt and Jane

Yacht, "Callisto"
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Old 12-31-2004, 03:47 PM   #11
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<font color="blue">Submitted by Debbie Stewart</font id="blue"> Thank you.


I came across your website and saw the details of the boats that were damaged in the Tsunami. My parents, my brothers and I were on our boat Sousa when the tidal wave hit and even though it doesnt seem important anymore, Sousa was very badly damaged, the rudder is gone, there are a number of large holes in her, one of which is very close to the waterline. She's currently at wavemaster having extensive work done on her. So unfortunately, she's not comfortably anchored as stated and we are lucky that shes not on the marina bed of telaga harbour.

Thank goodness nobody was killed,it truly is a miracle.

Yours sincerely

Debbie Stewart
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Old 12-31-2004, 03:53 PM   #12
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<font color="blue">Submitted by Richard H Donaldson-Alves</font id="blue"> Thank you.

Jocara Ocean Quest emailed the following :

"We're sailing between the Comorros and Zanzibar and didn't notice a thing from the Tsunami.

Yachts: "Altair", "Irena", "Pakele", "Captain's Fansea" and others are safely in Richard's Bay, South Africa.

We know of no boats around here in trouble.

The very best to you and yours, and what can I say to the poor souls who lost everything, many their lives, in this terrible earthquake?"

John, Caroline, Casper and Alex

aboard "Jocara."

Regards Richard
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Old 12-31-2004, 11:49 PM   #13
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1

RE: SV BAMBOLA (final status please ?)

<font color="red">Robert & Rosemary wrote:</font id="red">
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
"One boat from Rebak was sunk, a Warren Catamaran called Bambola"... then later "By the way the floating hazard was Bambola".
<font color="blue"> So it wasn't sunk Robert? I ask as I was emailed about this as I know the owner. Any info you can give me, especially if you logged its position & the time you were there, would be good. Thanks</font id="blue"> skip@themultihull.com

<font color="blue">UPDATE</font id="blue"> by webmaster. 01 Jan

Please see update on Babola at:


All we have at the moment.

skip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2005, 05:21 PM   #14
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"Pulling teeth in the Maldives"

Below is correspondence conducted by Richard (Net controller, SE Asia MM Net) in an attempt to clarify the situation on the Maldives ahead of the fleet crossing the Indian Ocean over the next few weeks.

Here is info. on lifting/slipping facilities in Maldives etc. As you read, it does give a lttle light hearted enlightenment on language. It took a little time to get the right tooth pulled!

It confirms latest reports that I have heard about the "Gougers" in Uligan (should read "hooligan!")



Abdulla, (Maldives)


a) I need urgent information regarding Lift-out facilities in Male for a yacht damaged in Sri Lanka.

I need to know of fuelling facilities in Male and Ulugan and especially the total cost of buying Diesel in both centres. Recently a yacht bought fuel in Ulugan and was subjected to extortion - which we hope to take up with the Maldives Government.

Please supply urgent information, many yachts are now planning to leave Thailand for Europe - however if yachts are going to be "ripped off", they will use Cochin instead of Ulugan to stop off on the way to Europe, which would be unfortunate. Please confirm that your oganisation will treat yachts honestly ?


Richard Donaldson-Alves


Mobile Maritime Net

South East Asian Waters

14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily

Wx @ 0055 Z daily



Dear Richard

Thanks for the your e-mal regarding the lift of facilities in the Maldives. You are right we had bade experience in the Maldives too. Now the situation become a normal. The port facilities are the as before and there are some Yachts in the habour.The operations of the port are normal. There is no damaged in the port of Male'. There were no restriction of flying in Maldives and all the major airlines are started their operation after the eight hours of interruption due to the Tsunami . The fuel and foods are not shortage and it would be possible to buy any quantity of fuel and foods Male. The prices of the fuel and foods are not changes due to the Tsunami and hopefully fuel price will be reduce in the near future.

Regarding the fuel Price in Male are as bellow

Per liter of MGO USD 00.48 (With Delivery Charges )

Per liter of Petrol USD 00.50 (With Delivery Charges )

We are happy to provide any iformation of about the Maldives. We are higly appreciated for your assistance and greate work.


Best Regards



Dear Abdulla,

a)Please Advise if yachts can be taken out of the water in Male.

b)Please advise the Total charge for Diesel in Uligan and Male

c)Please confirm that there are no addional charges.




Dear Richard

Thanks for the enquiries and please noted that there were no official agent in Uligam and government not allow to operate agency there. Cliearance arranged by the governmen and the all officials are on board with their paper work. Fuel can buy a local people there were no such a arrangement and it would not be a ideal to buy fuel and water from the Uligam Port.

A)Please Advise if yachts can be taken out of the water in Male.

(Answer)Yes it can be taken out of the water in Malel'. The price of water per metric ton is USD 25.00 (With inclusive delivery charges)

b)Please advise the Total charge for Diesel in Uligan and Male

(Answer) Diesel Price in Male is per liter USD 00.48 (With inclusive delivery charges)

c)Please confirm that there are no addional charges.

(Answer)In regarding the fue and water there would not be any additional charges.




Hello Abdulla,

I was not clear about Lifting facilities in Male.

What is required, is to take a yacht out of the sea so that repairs can be done to the yacht when it is on the ground. When repairs are completed the yacht is put back into the sea .. CAN this be done in MALE ?????




Dear Mr.Richard

Sorry for the mistake. Yes it can be done in Male' and here were two dry-dock facilities. One is Palm Tree Dry-dock facility and other one is Gulf Craft Services Center in Maldives. Palm Tree have 50ton Travel lift and Gulf Craft is capable to lift a big safari vessel about 100 ton and more. They have excellent workshops in all categories.

In the meantime if you required any more information please feel free to contact us.





For the Group leaving Thailand/Malaysia for the Med, the best plan appears to be :-

Phuket >>> Sombrero Channel >>> stay above 6° North until closing Sri Lanka >>> then >>>carry on past Galle >>>either to Uligan for a day or two (customs/immigration - no problem; will come out to the boat. Ask them "who to best get fuel from")

If you have to buy fuel, best to negotiate total charges up front in writing and make sure that you ask for delivery at least 48 hours ahead of your order - otherwise the gangsters slap on $50 for some spurious reason. Alternative stop-off to Uligan is Cochin or even Goa which has more facilities - from there >>>> Oman.

To the group - I suggest that additional fuel is purchased in good quality plastic jerry cans prior to leaving Thai/Mal. and lashed to lifelines.

The winds are forecast to be 10-15 kt ENE to Nicobars >>> 85° East then 10 NE to near Sri Lanka then 10/15 NNE to Oman (when closing Oman winds may be much stronger NNE/ENE 15/25 Kts.

From Oman >>>Aden E 15 >>>Red Sea SE 10 >>>Suez Canal.


I will be able to send WX to the group via 1 or 2 yachts who use Sailmail/Winlink who then can pass it on to the rest of the group by HF or VHF.

P.S. It might be worth considering Hoving to at night when near the Nicobars because of drifting debris from the Tsunami - I am getting reports of tremendous amounts.



Richard Donaldson-Alves


Mobile Maritime Net

South East Asian Waters

14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily

Wx @ 0055 Z daily

<font color="blue">ADDITION</font id="blue"> BY WEBMASTER

For assistance to those yachts heading on the Cape of Good Hope route.

1) Free ebook for download to assist those making landfall in South Africa: http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za/books.htm This site also has extensive weather information on the region as well as used charts [worldwide]. (Over 400 cruising yachts took this route this '04/'05 season)

2) For further info on this route: http://www.cruiser.co.za/africa.asp

Safe sailing.


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Old 01-01-2005, 06:30 PM   #15
Posts: n/a

Email received from Richard. Thank you.

Hello Bob,

The Thai people have been absolutely fantastic to the many surviving

tourists and also to the cruising fraternity. The King of Thailand had a special mention for sailors, being one himself, besides designing a very fast small yacht many years ago. You might like to post the following :


"His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej, whose grandson was among the thousands killed when massive tsunamis struck on Thailand's southern coastlines on Sunday, addressed the nation yesterday evening with a New Year's speech in which he praised the Thai public for their response to the tragedy.

In a speech made poignant by the tragic death of Khun Poom Jensen, His Majesty the King urged the public to help assist the survivors and engage in repair operations, while ensuring that such disaster did not happen again.

However, he also noted that the disaster had shown the kindness of the Thai people, and had demonstrated the unity of all Thais, whether soldiers, police officers or civilians.

As soon as the disaster struck, Thais were ready and willing to make sacrifices for those affected, irrespective of race or nationality.

"I want to stress to you all the thing that I said many years ago: that in our lives we cannot just have happiness, but that there is also constant suffering and danger which is difficult to avoid", he said.

"In the New Year, I urge all of you to help maintain unity and good will. These are the special characteristics that have enabled our nation to remain safe, and which help us all to live together…for as long as we preserve these characteristics, our nation will be secure".

Calling on "those sacred things which Thai people respect and believe in", His Majesty the King called for all his subjects to be free from suffering and danger over the coming year"


Richard Donaldson-Alves


Mobile Maritime Net

South East Asian Waters

14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily

Wx @ 0055 Z daily

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Old 01-02-2005, 08:51 PM   #16
Posts: n/a

<font color="blue">THE "OTHER" SIDE from what we see on the TV news.

Phuket is ready and able to host (and needs) visitors.</font id="blue">

(Email received by Webmaster)

Hi Bob

'IMAGE Asia' is doing “positive PR” of the situation here in Phuket.

Grenville, the managing director, is writing text and providing photos to show that Phuket is still a “paradise” island and an idyllic place to vacation in.

Information, in addition to “happy” photos being taken of Phuket, are on http://www.image-asia.com. If you could pass this information around it would surely do a favour for the island and marine tourism.

Kind Regards,


Editor/Webmaster 'IMAGE Asia'
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:51 PM   #17
Posts: n/a

Hi Bob

I attach a word doc. which I have extracted from a listing made up by the yacht "Brandamajo" today in Nai Harn Bay, South West Thailand where a miracle took place during the Tsunami - over a hundred yachts were anchored in Nai Harn Bay (which is west facing).Not one boat was damaged whilst the Tsunami went under the the yachts to attack the beach and buildings causing devastation.


Dear Richard

Fiona and William here on Brandamajo. We have compiled a list of boats that are anchored here in Nai Harn today 3rd January 2005, so hope it will help to allay any fears for those trying to find out about any of them.



Richard Donaldson-Alves


Mobile Maritime Net

South East Asian Waters

14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily

Wx @ 0055 Z daily

<font color="blue">Thank you "Brandamajo"</font id="blue">

The list contains yachts that are in the bay safe and sound today Monday 3 Jan 05.


















Corto M

Crimson Tide


Dream machine






Horn pipe


Kay sera


Layd May


Lighten Up


Master blaster


Mintaka II




Morroch 2



Ocean Pirate



Papillon 2

Pythias aura



Sabi Star


Scott free


Stolen Kiss




True blue I


Un jour


Ok, that seems to be the lot, hope I have all the names spelt corrrectly and it is of help to you. I am sure you are inundated with concerned emails and I would just like to say that you do a fabulous job on the radio Richard - it is very much appreciated and keep up the good work. Many thanks for all your help, advice, concern and effort. All the best for a safe and happy new year.


sv Brandamajo
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:28 PM   #18
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1

Dear Robert and Rosemary,

There are many of us here who were very glad to hear that you both are safe.

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Old 01-05-2005, 05:37 PM   #19
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<font color="blue">UPDATE from Rowdy.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

Hello everyone. I must apologize for not writing sooner, but things are still a bit hectic here. At this point I have 310 in my "in" box, 191 in my "sent", and these are all fairly new and mostly related to the disaster, and this is after deleting as much as I can as I work along. I must confess that some of the "in" box are from people asking for information the 2nd time, after I said that I would get back quickly, and for those I'm sorry. My laptop HD is dying - you have to tap the damn machine many times to get it to boot up, and it had my best address book, so I have been trying to transfer things to the PC. One nice thing is that people I had not heard from in years have suddenly re-appeared with new addresses.

One of the problems I have in trying to write a letter like this is that some of the recipients know the area well, may have lived hear for a year or so, and are curious about "their" favorite restaurant, and what happened to friends and boats. Other of you had not heard of Phuket until CNN started babbling on about it, and the only thing you know is that the spelling could have an interesting pronunciation!

For the 2nd bunch, let me give a bit of background. For the first, skim this, and know that when I am writing about things that *you* know about, that they will be mystified.

O K, to start with, Phuket is an island abut 30 miles long (basicly north south) and about 12 miles wide. The central spine is about 1500 feet high. It is attached to the mainland by two bridges, an old and a new, at the north tip. The old was closed, and I don't know if it is open or not. The airport can take a 747 in a pinch, though customs and immigration procedures go into a state of complete collapse. Most of the tourist development has taken place on the west coast of Phuket island (which is the name of the province also).

The two adjoining provinces are Phang Nga, to the north, and Krabi to the East. Both of these have seen major tourist development in the last 5 to 10 years. When CNN is talking about Phuket, they are talking about the whole area normally. Khao Lak is the coastal area on the west coast of Phang Nga about 50 miles north of Phuket, and the area where the heaviest damage and loss of life has taken place. Krabi has Phi Phi island, which was a major tourist site and looks like a bomb has hit it (a BIG bomb). The island is joined by a narrow low ismus between two very high areas, and the wave came into both the north and south bays and met at the center. At one point they were talking about 400 bodies being brought to Phuket , but there would have been many more casualties. Lots of people have been washed out to sea.

North of Phi Phi is the Relai beach area, which is where the photo from the NYTimes of "the Swedish Heroine" was taken. She is running toward the wave, and I am sure toward her child. Unblieveable as it seems, all the people in the photo survived. I will send the photo separately, as some people cannot download big stuff (and some people can't get BCCs, which is another thing that makes this letter hard) .

I will also send some unpublished photos from Pat (sy Beaujeu) of Patong the day after the wave, and some shots of the damage in Lankawi (which is 100 miles south in Malaysia) That is where most of the boat damage took place.

Going back to geography, and casualty figures, area east and south of Phi Phi is Ko Lanta, which has many new beach side resorts. I am not sure what happened, but it must have been pretty bad. Ko Racha Yai, just south of Phuket, was also pretty well wiped out.

Now, when I say that, you must remember that all of this damage and loss of life took place within 50 to 500 yards of the beach. In Phuket town you would not have known that anything happened. The garbage trucks are still collecting garbage, the buses run, the restaurants are open, life is perfectly normal. In my first letter I mentioned the luxury Boat House Resort where the water came though the hotel with about a 4 feet high wave, left a bunch of trash on the street, but the restaurants on the other side of the street were untouched (being slightly on a hill) and doing business as usual.

On Phuket island proper, all of the west coast suffered extensive damage, but (once again) if you were back from the beach nothing happened. I am reminded of the old story about the little boy who was taken to the hospital with a sore throat, and the doctor said, "you have a mild infection, I will give you some pills and you should be fine in two days. You are a lucky little boy, in the next room is a little boy with toncillitus who will have to stay in the hospital and have his tonsils out tomorrow". As they were driving home his father asked if he had learned anything at the hospital. He thought for a moment and said "it is very important to be in the right room".

The east coast got a rise, but not really a wave. I was told that there were some longtails (boats, if you don't know) up in the trees where the road passes the klong at the head of Ao Chalong Bay. Gordon's 20 foot boat ended up in a restaurant, but was the only casualty in Chalong. Kan Eng 1 & 2 had water in their parking lots, but Par Lai restaurant was apparently badly damaged and is being rebuilt. The shape of the bottom seems to have been a big factor in how big the wave was, and how steep. None of the 100 boats at Nai Harn were damaged, though the restaurants on the shore were destroyed. Ao Sane Restaurant disappeared, but the yacht community pitched in and rebuilt it. I heard there were two architects on boats in the bay who drew up plans, but by they time they brought them ashore, the building was already up! They had had the 200 people at the Christmas party just before the wave, and the cash box was still in the restarunt. Ouch--insult to injury.

The most heavily damaged areas were Patong and Kamala. I guess the shape of the bays, and bottom gave a really big wave. Much of the damage in Patong has been hauled away, and rebuilding is proceeding quickly. Kamala is going much more slowly. I saw Harry Usher at Robinsons and he said their house on the beach was totally gone, computer and back up gone, office and office computers gone, but they were fine and the new truck was ok. He had managed to get to the boat and went to sea, and stayed out till the next day.

There are stories so sad that it makes you want to cry, like the one of the couple with the infant baby who were walking on Patong beach and hit by the wave. He managed to hold onto the baby through the whole wave, but then found that he just had a bag of clothes. The baby was not found. Damian was washed into the basement parking lot in the Patong shopping mall with a badly injured arm and swam for 5 hours with 1 foot clearance to the ceiling, among the bodies, unable to get out. They finally got the survivors out. And then there was the Brit flag French skippered large catamaran in the Similian islands that people were concerned about, who didn't even know that anything had happened for 4 days! I guess if you want to get away from it all , sailing is a way to do it...

The heaviest loss of life has taken place 50 miles north of Phuket at Khao Lak. That area still has many many bodies and many many missing. The Thai/tourist casualty ratio seems to be about 50 50. Except for relief work, people are advised to avoid the area.

The latest casualty report I have seen is 31 December

6 provinces 4510 dead, 9849 injured, 6475 missing

Phang Nga 3689 1272 2123

Phuket 279

Krabi 367 2649 1913

I realize that the numbers don't add up. Obviously, most of the missing are dead and will never be found. the dead are the recovered bodies.

Now, looking on the brighter side. The local and national government seem to have done an excellent job. Some things didn't work as well as they might have, of course. but all in all, very well done. When I went to the government hospital to give some clothes and volunteer to help with communications, I decided that they really didn't need me. They had big tables set up with translators under signs, banks of computers for email, phone lines set up, evac flights to Bangkok and on to wherever home was. The foreign embassys had representives down here promptly, though I must say, the US embassy was conspicous by its absence. When they finally got a woman here, some friends of mine tried to register (they had incorrectly been on a missing list) and she said "well, what do you want to do?" When they repeated "register", she tore a sheet from a steno pad and gave it to them. My god, the *Mexicans* were set up with their laptop on line! Also, 5 days after the tsunami, the embassy put out a warning about traveling to southern Thailand. They obviously don't have a clue about the situation. The warning was totally unnecessary, but I suppose that there is a feeling that "well, we had better do something". A major effort is being made to build the number of tourists back up, and that certainly doesn't help. As I said, very much of the area is just fine. An interesting site has been written up with news about the various hotels and beaches http://www.image-asia.com/

Most of the yacht damage took place in Langkawi (Malaysia 100 miles south), as I said. Two marinas were totally destroyed with major damage to the boats in them. A few individual comments:

Beryl (Don Rider's widow) is fine, but would like to sell the boat and move to Phuket.

Michelle, (sy Simpatico) is OK, missing daughter found, but house, computer, and boat all gone.

Tri Odyssey upside down.

Hans Tumblehome on beach at ranger station at Terratao, 10 cm hole in boat (that should baffle you americans) but well above high water line. Rumor that he wanted to sell it, but maybe just having a bad hair day.

The best site for boat news is http://www.cruiserlog.com A great deal of information has been posted there. Richard has been doing an outstanding job of trying to compile information and answer the hundreds of requests.

<font color="blue">APPEAL</font id="blue">

OK, Pitch time. My friend Jill on Saipan asked early on about how to send donations without the administrative costs taking a large chunk of the donation. Jim on "Beaujeu" suggested the Phuket Womens Club, but they are strictly education, and the Rotary was suggested. My good friend of 20 years, Neil Cumming, is immediate past president of the Patong Rotary, and said that they could certainly put the money to good use. He is a Scot, so I can guarantee that it will not be wasted! The problem with sending a check here is two weeks in the mail, six weeks for the bank to clear, and probably 15% charges by the bank. I came up with the idea of my old friend Dale Flowers in Denver, a very active Rotarian, and after finding all the people who had to approve things who were on holiday, it is finally set up. A check can be sent to Dale Flowers, it will go in the bank in Denver and clear within a couple of days, and the money can be wired to the Patong Rotary Club here in bulk. Since it is a US charitable org, the donations are Tax Deductible. Many businesses will double or triple donations, especially for this purpose, so check with who you get your paycheck from. If you would rather do it direct, the bank account will be listed below, but check the tax deductablity is ok if it is important.

The nice thing about using the local Rotary, is they know the area, and what is needed and how best to handle the problems. It won't be a situation of "it's raining in Sri Lanka, they must need raincoats". It won't rain here till May! They already do a lot of school work, so this will continue and they will try to improve rather than just replace. They have had an orphanage already set up, but it will sadly be much busier now. The National government is prepared to make grants to people who have lost everything, but only if they stay on their property. Makes sense, because the entire country would be making a claim, but it is very hard to stay on your property if it is only a concrete slab. They are trying to get the basics of survival to people - even if only a clay pot barbecue and beach umbrella - for the moment.

The money will not be restricted to Phuket, but sent to where ever in the area it is needed most. I realize that the devastation in Sumatra or the Andamans may be greater than here, but there is really no infrastructure to handle donations in those areas - it is probably best left to the governments involved. I doubt that even the Red Cross , and Medicins sans Frontiers type organizations can do much there.

Wow I haven't written so much since term paper days. I will run spell check (that will take an hour) and tack on the information about where to send donations. This is a worthy one folks, the Thais have been doing a great job themselves, but I really think that this can help people who are falling through the cracks.

Anybody who wants more information about anything (my, don't I sound smart) feel free to write, and if I don't answer, write again.

All the best for 2005

C. R. (Rowdy) Taliaferro

************************************************** **

Good to talk with you last nite. Just talked with Littleton Rotary Foundation president and he says go ahead so have folks make checks out to Littleton Rotary Foundation at my address. I will take it from there.

C. Dale Flowers

Flowers & Associates, Inc.

7255 S. Sundown Circle

Littleton, CO 80120-4284


Fax 303-347-2151

Cell 303-898-9902

************************************************** **

Dear Sam,

Can you send a letter to Dale asking for funds? They are keen to help. Something along the lines of the donations page on phuket.com below and at http://phuket.com/donations.htm

The Rotary Club of Patong Beach, Phuket's only English speaking Rotary Club, was immediately on the ground, actively helping with disaster relief. Initial emergency needs were funded from existing funds, topped up with members' and friends' donations. Hundreds of local people, in Phuket and Khao Lak have already been helped to overcome the initial effects. However, much more needs to be done on a longer term basis for families and children affected by the floods. The club is actively seeking funds to help rebuild homes and schools in those small villages and communities that were devastated. All funds will be applied directly to re-construction efforts, contracted for and supervised by Rotary members with appropriate expertise. All contributions will be acknowledged with appropriate credit given on each project.

Details of Rotary account are as follows:

Rotary Club of Patong Beach:

Bangkok Bank, Patong branch, Phuket.

Account name: Rotary Club of Patong Beach;

Account number: 563-0-316460;

Swift code: BKKBTHBK.

Pleas Fax us your Payment Slip for acknowledgement with name and contact details: +66 76 222196 (Ref: Tsunami Relief) or E-mail our Club's Treasurer, treasurer@rotarypatong.org

Many thanks Sam,

Yours in Rotary,


----- Original Message ----- From: "C. R. Taliaferro"

To: "Neil Cumming - Asia Web Direct" ; "C. Dale Flowers"

Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 12:49 AM

Subject: [Fwd: Re: donations]

Hi Neil:

here is the letter from Dale requesting an "official" request. The 501 (3c) is exactly what we want for the doners so please take care of this. A shame that we are 12 hours out of sync! Dale, thanks so much for the efforts on your end.


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Re: donations

Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 06:03:52 -0700

From: Mr. C. Dale Flowers

To: rowdy

Sorry for the delay but the whole world around here is out of town through yesterday. Will finalize things this morning I believe but still need email from the Patong Beach Rotary Club "officially" requesting funds to be transferred to their account. Would be best if it came from the current president whose name could be cross referenced in the Rotary International officials list. Think we can do this with the Littleton Rotary Foundation which is a 501(3 c which means that contributions are deductible. Checks could be sent directly to me and I'll shepherd them through the process and get the money transferred to the Patong Beach Club just as soon as I get the confirmation email.

Can't accept any email till I give you the go ahead later today.


************************************************** ******************
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Old 01-05-2005, 08:11 PM   #20
Posts: n/a

<font color="blue">Kindly submitted by Richard Donaldson-Alves.</font id="blue"> Thank you.

Dear Bob,

Here is the account I promised you . It was written by a colleague and friend of mine - Dr. George Latham - S/Y Winddancer. George is a specialist in Tropical Diseases. He relates what happened on Boxing Day morning whilst at anchor in the once beautiful bay of Phi Phi Don island to the east of Phuket . An account where his grandson, visiting from Canada nearly lost his life , where George and Ellen nearly lost their lives (and Winddancer) had they not been able to start their engine. George is now on his way to Aceh Province - Sumatra to really help those that also need his skills.

************************************************** *************

<font color="red">PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT</font id="red">

© Hello Friends and Relatives.

© This is just a note to let you know that George, Ellen, our grandson, Jordan and our friend, Jeff Staley (and our sailboat WindDancer) are now

in Langkawi, Malaysia and are all safe after having gone through the Tsunami at Phi Phi Don Island on the west coast of Thailand.

We were at Phi Phi Island when the Tsunami hit, our 16 year old grandson Jordan was on the beach and George,Jeff and I were in the boat at anchor. A bit of our story:

We first nearly lost the boat and ourselves in the incoming torrent surge, but finally got the anchor up and headed for deep water; Jordan was standing on the beach watching the tide get very low, then started running as he and others realised that the incoming tide was getting too high. He was tossed around, cut, and dunked and finally floated and was able to crawl through an upper story of one of 3 hotels left standing on the island were he joined other young tourists from Europe in saving and helping those less injured;

We kept the boat circling in the bay, but had no idea of the devastation on shore, George took our dinghy over to help an injured yachtie on another boat, then headed into shore to find Jordan, all the time while repeated new warnings were coming in for further tsunami waves;

George radioed us from shore and said that he had never seen such devastation. He later admitted that he did not think Jordan could have survived the tsunami if he was in town, which we believed he had been. As George began looking for Jordan, he also began to try to help the many severly injured people. He then radioed us and told us to reanchor the boat in the bay, put out a "pan pan" on the VHF radio for medical help for supplies and any doctors/yachties who felt they could join us on shore. To quote George: "We cannot leave these people, we have to help, bring all the medical supplies, bandages, clean towels, be ready to stay". Jeff and I understood that this meant that we might lose WindDancer to another wave surge, but that George's choice was clear.

Just as another yacht brought by Sloan, a 2nd year medical student to join us, and take us to shore, George radioed that he had found Jordan and that although beat up, Jordan was running food and water up to surviving people who had fled to high ground. 5 hours had now elapsed since we the initial blast of the Tsunami.

As our dinghy neared shore, the water started rushing out again, we jumped into the water and rushed to shore, fearing another Tsunami, now seeing the bomb site that the island had become. Nothing left standing save parts of 3 hotels. Sheet metal, rocks, trees, concrete slabs, septic tanks, clothing, shoes, cameras, boats, swim fins, cameras, backpacks, sand, coral tossed violently together in chaos. How could anyone survive this?

Throughout the night we worked as medical teams with George being one of only 2 doctors for thousands of injured and nearly dead. Sloan and Jeff were amazing and were the New Zealanders, Shelley and Murray that I worked with. Jordan showed stamina and compassion beyond belief and his years. The injuries were brutal rips, slashes, broken tangled bodies and of course the dead laid out with sheets respectfully covering them if they were fortunate enough to have been found. Med evac helicopters started to come in by late evening and makeshift strechers with swimsuit wearing carriers started the long slog across the tangled scene to the chopper area. The night just went on and on, over jungle paths, and debris, being guided by Thais to places where severely injured people were hoping for a doctor. It was strictly war zone medicine, flooding gashes with alcohol, iodine, using the antiobiotics/dressings from the boats as nothing else was available, applying gauze pads, wrapping, taping, George prioritising who would be lifted out by chopper that night.

Many more images, much more to the night, endless night. Dive boats returning, people leaving the island by boat, people crying out for missing children, husbands, friends, fires burning to guide the choppers in, full moon to take away some of the terror of darkness, and finally a few hours of sleep when too exhausted to do anymore. Where did we sleep, George and Jeff on an empty floor with a dirty piece of plastic over them, Jordan and I in an exclusive Hotel on the 3rd floor. The hotel doors bashed in to have a place for the injured, a place to find water any food, some clothing. Is this looting? No, not to me. The pain of never knowing what happened to the Japanese couple from room 1246 in the Cabana Hotel, who gave us so much so that we could help others.

Finally by noon the next day, the Thai nurses, special forces, medics had arrived with meds, food, water and we realised that by early afternoon we could return to WindDancer and start our life again. Our dinghy was still near shore and WindDancer was still in the bay. Our dinghy anchor was gone, borrowed by locals to use as a weight for a burial at sea. We all gave, took, helped, and were lucky if we were among the surviving.

© George Latham/Ellen McNeil/Jordan Bilyeu/Jeff Staley

************************************************** ******************



Richard Donaldson-Alves


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