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The Impossible - RESCUE!

Tsunami survivors, on the island of Sumatra, are awaiting supplies from a U.S. Navy helicopter.  Image online, courtesy U.S. Navy.

 

As raging water roared by, Enrique was able to grab hold of a tree.  Impossibly, he heard the voice of his middle son: **

I heard Tomas' voice. He was shouting, "Papa!  Mama! Lucas! Simon!"

Perched at the top of a tree, around 200 yards away, the 8-year-old child had survived. 

About forty minutes later, father and son heard five-year-old Simon (who had recently learned how to swim) calling out.  He, too, was clinging to the top of a tree.  All three were able to make it to the roof of the Orchid hotel.

Maria's risk-filled journey to safety was far-more complicated.  Swirling about in the torrent, she crashed into tsunami-caused debris.  When she finally surfaced, she was alone.

Never expecting to see any member of her family again, she grabbed onto a tree.  Then Lucas, whom she had last seen going after the beach ball, swept by her amidst the trash-laden water. 

The oldest Alvarez-Belón child likened his experience to the end of the world:

I had never seen anything of the scale of that wave.  It might as well have been the apocalypse.

When the waters finally calmed, mother and son looked for a safer place than the swamp they were in.  Shock had prevented Maria from realizing how badly injured she was, but Lucas was stunned to see his mother moving about, apparently oblivious to pain.

Spotting a large tree, Maria and Lucas attempted to reach a safe place.  It was then they heard the cries of a child.

Believing that his father and brothers were dead, Lucas had only one objective in mind - to get his severely injured mother to safety:

I realized if we didn't get out of there, things could go very wrong.  I was only ten - I had no idea what was going on.  But I really started to see Mum might be dying.  She kept going in and out of consciousness.

Maria, however, insisted that they look for the crying child:

What if that child was Simon or Tomas?  It was important that I showed my son the right way to behave, particularly as I was dying.  You feel it.

The pair found the crying toddler amid the flotsam of the wave.  All alone, he was a Swede named Daniel.

When it was safe, local villagers - who had survived the disaster - began to look for others needing help.  They found Maria, Lucas and Daniel and took them to a hospital in Takua Pa (the nearest town).

 

**  All quotes, in this chapter, are from an article written by Charlotte Eagar which was published in The Sun on 5 January 2013. 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jan 01, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jul 15, 2019


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"RESCUE!" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 01, 2013. Dec 12, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/RESCUE-The-Impossible/1>.
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