Tuesday, December 28, 2004
'We Didn't Understand, We Were Just Paralyzed' (washingtonpost.com) Giske, a Norwegian real estate investor, and his Thai wife had been enjoying the holidays in a villa they own here. On Sunday, they had arranged for a sailboat ride with two other families and were down at Patong Beach, waiting for the vessel to arrive, when everything changed. "Suddenly, we saw the ocean was disappearing," Giske said. In the span of about 15 seconds, the water reaching as far out as 2,000 yards simply vanished. It was about 10 in the morning on one of the busiest days of the year. The sea was packed with families. The undertow was so powerful that anyone in the water was instantly sucked out, witnesses said. Then came a strange period of calm, the ocean gone, fish flopping on the abandoned seabed. Some people wandered out for a look. "Suddenly, we saw this big wave coming," Giske said. "It took all the yachts and swept them in. We didn't understand, we were just paralyzed."