SPARED: Keith Davis with a photo of his son Kallum who escaped being caught up in the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster by a matter of hours.An “act of fate” spared the life of Keith Davis’ son in last week’s tsunami disaster.
The Dubbo father is still coming to terms with the fact Kallum, 23, escaped the giant waves that swept away his beach bungalow just hours after he left it.
Kallum Davis was holidaying with his girlfriend at a beach resort on Phuket the day before the deadly tsunami struck.
On a tight budget and in search of cheaper accommodation, the couple checked out of their beach bungalow just 16 hours before it was swept away in the devastating tidal waves.
“Even though I know they are safe and back home it still makes me shudder when I think how close they came to death,” Mr Davis told the Daily Liberal yesterday.
Mr Davis’ son contacted the family on the afternoon of the tsunami to let them know he was okay.
He had checked out of the beach bungalow and found cheaper accommodation at a hotel further inland.
“He went back to the place they had been staying at and it had been almost entirely washed away,” Mr Davis said.
“Just one wall of the bungalow remained.
“The bed he had been sleeping in had been dragged out through the window.
“Kallum is a late sleeper and he said he would have been asleep at the time tsunami struck.
“It must have been an act of fate that they were spared.
“It is hard to understand how these things work – why some people are spared and others not.
“But I think there must be a reason for it, and I know Kallum will be a better, stronger person because of this experience.”
Mr Davis was full of admiration for his son, whom he said struggled during his school years.
“Kallum was dyslexic and had difficulty learning at school,” he said.
“But he got through it and went on to study welding. He is now a first-class specialist welder and has worked on a number of major building and mining projects.”
Mr Davis said his son’s latest job had finished earlier than he anticipated leaving him short of funds for his holiday.
“There are so many things you think of at times like this,” he said.
“If Kallum’s job had gone on a bit longer he would have had more money and probably would have stayed longer in that beach bungalow.
“All these things make you think and can bring you undone if you dwell on it. But I’m just thinking positively now and so thankful they are both home safe.”
The experience of having his son caught up in the catastrophe has given Mr Davis a stronger appreciation of the heartache and anguish felt by families and loved ones of those who perished or remain missing.
“My heart goes out to all those people, I’m so lucky my son survived when so many died,” he said.
“It was a horrible experience during the hours before he called, not knowing if he was involved.
“Even after that, while he was still in the country it was an anxious time, because there was still a fear that something else might happen.”
Kallum and his girlfriend arrived back in Sydney on Monday.
Mr Davis said they were resting at their home, still coming to terms with what they had experienced.
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