THE Palma-based British crew of the locally-based luxury yacht Lady Ecosse were lucky to be alive yesterday after being caught by the eye of the tidal waves off Phuket on Sunday.
Captain Robin Bollard, Anne, Clive and the rest of the crew, who all live in Palma which is the home port for the 140ft yacht, were all on board Lady Ecosse at anchor off the Thai island when disaster struck the Indian Ocean. In a satellite call to their charter agent in Palma, Capt. Bollard said that yacht has suffered little damage and that he had taken the yacht out to deeper water for safety. They arrived in Phuket on December 23.
IN Ibiza, the family of local yacht chandler Manuel Vila Peris are still waiting for news of the businessman who was on holiday with his daughter in Phuket.
Manuel Vila's wife, at the family home in Santa Eulalia, reported her husband and daughter missing on Sunday night.
Their daughter has been found safe and sound, but there is still no news of the missing Manuel.
Majorcan journalist Miguel Rovira, head of the South East Asia bureau for Spanish news agency EFE, said yesterday that it is still too early to say if all the Spanish holidaymakers in the area are alive and well.
It was he who found the Majorcan newlyweds Maria Antonia Puigros, from Manacor, and Antonia Martin, from Valencia, at a shelter in Phuket.
They flew to Bangkok yesterday and are expected to land in Madrid on Friday enroute back home to Manacor.
The honeymooners on the paradise island of Phi Phi escaped the tidal waves by dashing up a mountain.
The couple who both work in Palma and married on December 11 at the church in Porto Cristo, spent 14 hours up the hill that saved their lives before making it to the shelter.
There was relief at her family home in Manacor yesterday as news that they were safe and well was confirmed.
They had been due to fly back to Spain on Monday.
Yesterday Maria Antonia's mother told of how her daughter and husband had fortunately decided against booking one of the front line bungalows as they were all destroyed by the tidal waves.
When disaster struck, they were staying at a hotel in the heart of the small island. With a group of 12 holidaymakers, they decided to make for the higher ground on seeing the waves crashing ashore from their second-floor balcony. They were finally rescued and taken off the island and to the safety of Phuket by a Thai navy patrol launch.