My Mum has just returned from a week long holiday in Malta. She told me all about it during a (four and a half hour) Skype call and it sounded lovely.
She was telling me about a jeep tour of Gozo that they went on and I was excited to hear all about the Azure Window – I pinned a gorgeous picture of it from A Lifetime’s Exploration to my Malta board a couple of years ago and was blown away by how beautiful (and blue) it was.
I was gobsmacked by the time she had finished telling me about the day though and not because of the views. I’ll let her tell you the rest…
On Wednesday 25th February we were on an island tour of Gozo from our hotel in Malta. It was a rather windy day, with some showers and the sea was quite choppy. Our Maltese driver and guide, made a point of telling us not to stand near the edge as the water could come up from the bottom and pull you down. Now, me being a total wimp and and not wishing to be sucked into the sea nor soaked by a big wash, I made sure my husband and I stayed away from the edge at all times.
One of our stops was to the Azure Window, which is a beautiful cave that you can enter via small boat, but is unfortunately dependent on weather. As the sea was so choppy we were unable to go into the cave, instead we stood on the rocks above it, taking pictures and admiring the views.
As it was so windy and it was chilly in the wind, (it is Malta’s winter after all!) once we had some pictures we retreated to the jeep to wait for the other couple on the tour with us. It was about 2pm, we were sitting in the jeep with the driver, just chatting and looking at the sea and the people on the rocks, when an enormous wave came up and struck five people near the edge of the cliff.
We saw two of the people running away, soaking wet, once the wave receded, we saw that one person had fallen down. Eventually, once they had sorted themselves out the two went to the aid of the third person and then they and (and we) realised that the other two were missing.
One of them had fallen into a crevice and was able to be pulled out safely, the other person was missing. She had been dragged into the sea with the wave. Everyone was running around, on their phones calling the police and looking for her, but she was not to be seen anywhere at all.
This whole experience put a bit of a dampener on our holiday, as you can imagine, it also made us very grateful to our driver (whose name has escaped me, I’m afraid), for making us aware and so helping to keep us safe. As far as I am aware the lady has not been found.
After Mum told me about it, I looked online to see if I could find some more information, but was only able to find two reports. As I understand it a 37 year old man from Hungary was swept by the wave into the crevice and was being treated in hospital.
Tragically the 27 year old women from China, was swept into the sea and has not yet been recovered. Her friend, who was the one knocked down by the wave was being treated for shock, but otherwise unhurt.
I know this hasn’t been a very cheery post, but I wanted to share what happened, I’m so grateful that my Mum hates being cold and had gone back to the jeep and I cant help but think about that poor woman who was just enjoying her holiday and snapping pics one minute and then being swept out to sea the next 🙁
So, hug the ones you love guys, make the most of every day you have and every trip you take. You never know when your time is up.