Sunday Observer
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Sunday, 6 November 2005  
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Thank you for rescuing me

by Ambalangoda Special Corr.

Two female teachers from East London returned to Hikkaduwa a few days back in search of a young diver attached to the International Diving Centre at Hikkaduwa.

These elderly British Teachers were keen on diving but both of them were so eager to meet the young boy who rescued them when they were struggling for life during tsunami.

Susie Davison and Leslie Wood were spending their holidays a beach hotel at Hikkaduwa just in front of Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary. On the fateful morning of tsunami they were getting ready to leave for Galle. Leslie Wood was having a bath in the hotel bathroom while Susie was on the backside of the Hotel.

On hearing the shouting and seeing panicky people running towards the landside Susie asked Leslie to come out of the bathroom and she ran to her room to collect her luggage but she could not come out of her room as the door closed due to the strong pressure of the gushing waters and after a while the door was suddenly forced opened and she was thrown out and washed away beyond the main road towards the rail track and she said she held a branch of a nearby tree.

Dharshana who was one of the Assistant Instructors of Diving attached to the International Diving School of Hikkaduwa during the first wave could rescue so many people found on the beach. When he was going towards the Galle road he saw a foreigner holding a branch of a tree and rescued her.

Susie was asked to move towards a safer area and before she left in search of a safer area she told Dharshana about her missing friend Leslie. Leslie was found without any clothes in between a vehicle and parapet wall. She said she felt shy to move away without clothes in her and Dharshana on hearing this immediately removed his pair of trousers and offered it to her.

Late in the evening, after the second monstrous wave, Dharshana reached home at Pannangoda a village a little interior to Hikkaduwa to see a large gathering both foreigners and locals reached there as a safe place.

As Dharshana did not reach home till late evening his parents were highly worried. To utter surprise Dharshana found the lady in his trousers at his home among many of the foreigners. He had his keys of the Diving Centre inside one of the pockets of the pair of the trousers he offered to Leslie which she returned to him.

Dharshana and his parents offered free meals for all those who stayed there for three days. Susie and Leslie lost all their belongings but Susie managed to keep her purse throughout, with her. After three days both of them left for England.

Both of them came back to Hikkaduwa during the weekend with some funds to help the tsunami affected schools at Hikkaduwa.

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