Home NewsAfrica ‘Life and death’ at sea: log keeps Tonga’s ‘Aquaman’ from going under | News24

‘Life and death’ at sea: log keeps Tonga’s ‘Aquaman’ from going under | News24

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  • An actual-life Aquaman has been hailed for surviving 27 hours at sea after Saturday’s devastating tsunami struck Tonga, killing at the very least three individuals.
  • The 57-year-old Tongan man, Lisala Folau, mentioned he went underneath 9 occasions earlier than latching onto a log and making it to security.
  • Folau was swept out to sea at round 19:00 on Saturday and reached the shore 27 hours afterward Sunday.

A 57-year-old Tongan man being hailed a real-life Aquaman for surviving 27 hours at sea after Saturday’s devastating tsunami struck his island mentioned he went underneath 9 occasions earlier than latching onto a log and making it to security.

“On the eighth time I assumed, the subsequent time I’m going underwater that is it, as a result of my arms have been the one issues that have been protecting me above water,” mentioned Lisala Folau, who’s disabled and can’t stroll correctly, talking to Reuters from Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa.

“So the ninth time I went underneath and got here up and grabbed a log. And that is what stored me going.”

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano killed at the very least three individuals and despatched tsunami waves rolling throughout the Tongan archipelago, damaging villages and resorts and knocking out communications for the nation’s 105 000 individuals.

Folau, who lived on the remoted island of Atata, with a inhabitants of about 60 individuals, was swept out to sea at round 19:00 on Saturday.

He had climbed a tree to flee a primary wave however when he obtained down, one other huge wave swept him out.

Folau mentioned:

I may hear my son calling from land however I did not wish to reply my son as a result of I did not need him to swim out to search out me. The waves stored twirling round right here and there … What got here to thoughts is, at sea there’s life and dying. Till you attain the shore, then you understand in case you are alive or useless.

Folau mentioned he slowly managed to swim 7.5 km to the principle island of Tongatapu, reaching the shore 27 hours later at about 22:00 on Sunday.

His heroics have gone viral on social media, with one Fb put up calling him a “actual life Aquaman”, referring to the comedian e-book and movie character.

When requested if he knew who Aquaman was, Flolau mentioned he did not but.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the occasions.

Atata, about 8km northwest of Nuku’alofa, or a 30-minute boat experience, has been virtually solely destroyed within the tsunami that hit the islands.


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