A former Sittingbourne school pupil is lucky to be alive after being caught up in the Tunisian terror attack.
Nicole Harris was relaxing by the pool with her boyfriend when she heard a grenade exploding, as a gunman went on the rampage at a nearby beach resort, killing 38 people.
The 25-year-old, who attended Highsted Grammar School, was at the Royal Kenz Hotel, two doors down from the Imperial Marhaba, where Friday’s July 26 attack happened.
The sites share the same stretch of beach and on the morning of the shootings, she and boyfriend David Schofield decided to stay by the pool rather than go down onto the seafront – a choice which possibly saved their lives.
Miss Harris said: “It was really surreal what was happening. We were just lying by the pool and suddenly everyone started moving inside.
“So we followed them and we asked one of the entertainment reps what was happening and we were told there were police with guns and we need to get everyone inside.
“As we were moving, we heard what we now believe to be a grenade which obviously made us move a lot faster into the hotel.
“We were told to go into the rooms and we would be contacted when it was safe, which is obviously really scary because you are just in a room waiting and there are sirens going off and helicopters flying around.”
The couple were among the first group of tourists to get on a flight back to the UK and Miss Harris travelled to Sheppey to stay with her mum.
Now living in Manchester, she had just qualified as a primary school teacher and had hoped to enjoy her last holiday during term time.
The former Miss Sheppey added: “I feel lucky we made the decision not to go to the beach and obviously I really feel for all the friends and families of those who were not as fortunate as us.”