A WOKING family were airlifted to safety after being caught up in the New Zealand earthquake last week.
Janine and Sheldon Marriott, and 20-month-old Keeley-Rose from Goldsworth Park were in Kaikoura in the north of South Island when the magnitude 7.5 quake struck on Monday.
The family had to abandon their holiday cottage and were given blankets, mattresses, food and water by the civil defence. They slept in a hall for a couple of days before being flown by helicopter to Christchurch.
Janine said in an email to the News & Mail: “The cottage we were staying in had no power or water. The kitchen was damaged. It was so scary.
“We had to go to high ground because we were staying near the sea. We had to go to the civil defence welfare centre for help and advice. They gave us food blankets mattress, etc. “We all are so emotional keep having flashbacks.”
Meanwhile Janine’s parents Chris and Sheila Greer and her sister Karen Griffiths, who all live in Woking, had no word as to what had happened to the Marriotts. Karen, 39, of Wych Hill, said: “It was absolutely awful. I knew the lines were all down but we are so used to communicating that I just couldn’t get my head around not being able to speak. “I just wanted to talk to her.” Eventually Karen was Facetimed by Janine and has also received emails.
“She was very emotional. It was absolutely amazing to hear that they were safe. “They said the Red Cross, which organised the airlift, were brilliant. It was well organised because they have quite a lot of earthquakes and are set up to deal with them.”
Former Bishop David Brown pupil Janine, 43, and her family are still in New Zealand where they are visiting Sheldon’s father in Christchurch and had gone to the resort town with some of the local family.
They are also visiting Janine’s aunt and uncle, Jenny and Dave Whitehead, who live in Wellington.