Picture this: It's 10 pm and you're sitting on a charter boat in the middle of a bay in the Mentawais, peaceful and serene. There's 15 of you sitting on the back deck, playing music and relaxing. Suddenly, there's a brief tremor and the boat shakes, but it's gone as quickly as it came. For several minutes, everyone wonders what it was exactly. Everyone begins to relax again. Then, slowly, amongst noise of chirping birds from nearby land, you begin to make out an ominous rumble growing out of the silence. So you stick your head over the side to see what's up, and are faced with a three-metre high wall of foam, powering straight towards you through the bay.
Panic surges the boat. The boat anchored next to yours is picked up by the wave and slammed onto your boat, exploding and bursting into flames. Within seconds, there's a fireball on the back o' your boat, charging through the saloon.
Hard to imagine, huh? Well, this was the stark reality for Captain Rick Hallet and the rest of the crew aboard the Saranya yesterday.
"I ordered everyone up to the top deck to get as high as possible, then the boat exploded and we had to abandon ship," Hallett said.
"We threw whatever we could that floated - surfboards, fenders (the rubber savers on the side of the boat) – then we jumped into the water.
The wave swept the posse 200 metres in, where they took shelter in the high trees 'till they were sure no more nasty little surprises'd be coming along. They waited up in those trees for 90 minutes until rescue came in the form of another boat.