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Holidays from hell suffered by residents in Kent including Tunisia beach terror attack

It's one of the busiest booking weeks of the year for people looking for some winter sun. But as thousands of people book their Christmas getaways, be warned that things don't always go to plan... as these Kent residents found out.

Some of the families from Kent caught up in some holidays from hell
Some of the families from Kent caught up in some holidays from hell

Sri Lanka sunbathing accident

Claire Saywell, from Sittingbourne, needed 12 titanium pins put into her legs which were both broken after a 50ft tree fell on top of her whilst she was sunbathing.

She was on holiday with her husband Darren at the Club Hotel Dolphin in Negombo, Sri Lanka, in February 2017 when the freak accident happened.

Three men lifted the tree off of her and she spent 12 days in a hospital in Colombo.

She said: “My legs were bent down into a ‘V’ shape where the sun lounger had broken and, when the men managed to get the tree off, my legs looked deformed with my feet going in different directions.

Claire Saywell suffered horrific leg injuries whilst on holiday with her husband Darren in 2017
Claire Saywell suffered horrific leg injuries whilst on holiday with her husband Darren in 2017

“I will never get that vision out of my head. I thought my legs were gone.”

Lombok, Indonesia earthquake

Last year, two friends from Borstal, Rochester, found themselves caught up in a massive earthquake which devastated the island of Lombok in Indonesia.

Janet Waddington and her friend Vicky Marchant were on the island when a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck.

Three aftershocks followed, and during the month of August 563 people were killed and more than 417,000 were displaced.

The holidaymakers were on the beach when the quake struck, and they joined hundreds of others spending the night atop hill fearing a tsunami would follow.

People on the beach in Lombock, Indonesia, trying to escape the island. Picture: Vicky Marchant
People on the beach in Lombock, Indonesia, trying to escape the island. Picture: Vicky Marchant

Janet said: "People were screaming and smothered in blood. It was pitch dark and everyone was panicking.

"We did not know which way to turn".

Majorca villa scam

When a family touched down in Majorca, what they expected was a relaxing getaway, but what they got was a scam.

Angus Kennedy, from Maidstone, booked a seven-bedroom villa on the island through a website which turned out to be fake.

He realised something wasn't right when he turned up to Palma de Mallorca Airport in April and there was no one there to pick them up, as per his booking.

Angus Kennedy and his family outside the villa they expected to be renting
Angus Kennedy and his family outside the villa they expected to be renting

The company he had booked the getaway through, dreamvillasspain.com, proved uncontactable, and the family travelled to the villa in taxis.

Angus said: "As we were driving down this massive - and I mean massive - driveway, everyone was so happy, the kids were cheering and laughing, but I somehow knew that this wasn't the end."

The owner of the house came out to inform them they were on private property, and that he had never rented it out.

"My wife burst into tears," Angus continued, "there was a horrible moment where the taxies had driven off, and we were just left at the front of somebody else's house, with our suitcases around us."

US-Canada border mistake

A group of seven - including three babies - were detained in a US prison after unwittingly crossing the border from Canada illegally.

David and Eileen Connors, from Maidstone, were on holiday with their three-month-old son near Vancouver last month when they reportedly took a detour while swerving to avoid an animal in the road and unwittingly entered the US.

Eileen and David Connors. Picture: Facebook
Eileen and David Connors. Picture: Facebook

David's brother, sister-in-law and their two twins, aged two, were held at Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania after being arrested by US Border Patrol.

A spokesman from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the US claimed the group's vehicle appeared to have been deliberately driven over the border.

Man's 'Allah Akbar' outburst on flight to Venice honeymoon

A couple jetting off on their holiday were left shaken after a man who was being deported screamed "Allah Akbar" and "Today we will die" throughout a flight to Venice.

Lucy O'Sullivan and her husband Terence, from Detling near Maidstone, slammed easyJet for the way staff reacted to the incident in August 2016.

Lucy O'Sullivan on honeymoon with husband Terence
Lucy O'Sullivan on honeymoon with husband Terence

The handcuffed man, who was flanked by Home Office staff, shouted "help me", "today, death is coming", "today we will die" and "Allah Akbar" in the earshot of disturbed families on board the two-hour flight.

She said: "We felt threatened because no one knew the full story of who this person was and what was happening as nothing was explained to us.

"This had already started before we got on the plane so on entering the aircraft we could see people's scared faces and people crying, but staff just welcomed us to the flight."

Couple flee beach terror attack

A couple narrowly escaped being caught up in a devastating terrorist attack on a beach because their usual sunbathing spot had been nabbed by other tourists.

Glenn and Anita Whitehead, from Swanley, ran to evade the gunman who began firing at the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse in June 2015 in which 38 people were killed.

Glenn Whitehead, a scaffolder from Swanley who escaped death after fleeing from gunfire in a terrorist attack at a holiday resort in Tunisia
Glenn Whitehead, a scaffolder from Swanley who escaped death after fleeing from gunfire in a terrorist attack at a holiday resort in Tunisia

The couple fled and Anita fell over in the rush of people fleeing the beach in terror.

They sought shelter in the spa of a nearby hotel with other tourists.

Glenn said: "First of all, I heard something that sounded like Chinese firecrackers going off so I looked up and saw this bloke running across the beach near the sunbeds.

"I occasionally have flashbacks to when I saw the gunman."

Thai honeymoon motorbike horror

A couple turned to crowdfunding to help pay for their medical bills after they were left horrific injuries in a motorbike crash,

Abi Harrison and Rory Sadlier, from Tunbridge Wells, were on their way to a snorkelling excursion on a rented motorbike which they said had faulty brakes when the accident happened in July this year.

Abi Harrison was left battered and bruised after a motorbike crash in Thailand
Abi Harrison was left battered and bruised after a motorbike crash in Thailand

The honeymooning holiday makers' insurer wouldn't cover their full cost of their treatment in hospital, but they managed to raise more than £6,500 through friends and family on GoFundMe.

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