Tsunami survivor Nina Aldrich cheats death in floods near Huttons Ambo in Ryedale

York Press: Nina Aldrich Nina Aldrich

A TSUNAMI survivor has told how she cheated death for a second time when her car became submerged in North Yorkshire floodwaters.

Nina Aldrich, who developed multiple sclerosis months after witnessing the 2004 tsunami during a holiday in Phuket, said she did not have the energy to wade through the waist-deep water on a road near Huttons Ambo in Ryedale.

“I thought I was going to drown,” she said. “It was up to the door handles. The car had broken down. I had only one bar on my mobile, but managed to call my husband, Marcus.”

Mr Aldrich said he was in Driffield when he got the call. “She was in absolute panic,” he said. “She was convinced she was going to die.”

He contacted friends in the area, including James Clearey, who rushed to the scene, waded up to his waist to get to the car and then carried Mrs Aldrich to safety.

“He is my hero,” said Mrs Aldrich, 38, of Whitwell-on-the-Hill, whose car was written off in the incident last month.

She spoke of her ordeal as she and her husband prepared to stage a veterans’ rugby match in Malton in a bid to raise £3,000 for the Ryedale branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

She said she was convinced she developed the debilitating condition as a result of the trauma of witnessing the Boxing Day tsunami just over eight years ago.

“I had always been an incredibly fit and active person,” she said. “I went to the gym three times a week and went rollerblading.”

She said she developed strange symptoms in the months after returing home, becoming very tired and losing her balance before multiple sclerosis was eventually diagnosed.

She said she was on holiday in Thailand with her ex-husband when the tsunami struck. “It was horrific,” she said. “We were staying at a five-star hotel on a cliff and we went down to the dining room to find everyone panicking and shouting: ‘Tsunami, Tsunami!’ I didn’t even know what a tsunami was at the time.

“We looked out and the sea had just disappeared. All the boats were stranded on the seabed. Then there was a surge of water towards the land and it just kept on surging and surging.

“Then they said we had to head for the mountains as there was a 60ft wave coming, and I thought we were going to drown.”

She said the wave never came, but the village below her hotel was destroyed by the waters.

She said it was a week before they could get a flight home to Britain.

• The rugby match is being planned for Saturday March 2 at Malton rugby club, followed by a fundraising evening at the Stone Trough pub at Kirkham Abbey. Anyone interested in taking part or wanting to make a donation should email getyourbootson@yahoo.co.uk

Comments (19)

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3:29pm Tue 1 Jan 13

yorkie71 says...

Poor woman.

But sounds like she shouldn't be been driving if she doesn't have the energy to manage a car
Poor woman. But sounds like she shouldn't be been driving if she doesn't have the energy to manage a car yorkie71

4:08pm Tue 1 Jan 13

yorkred says...

Bit of advice for anyone interested,
If you think your life may be in danger , best to ring one of the emergency services, if you want just some publicity, ring your husband then the press.
Bit of advice for anyone interested, If you think your life may be in danger , best to ring one of the emergency services, if you want just some publicity, ring your husband then the press. yorkred

4:08pm Tue 1 Jan 13

yorkred says...

Bit of advice for anyone interested,
If you think your life may be in danger , best to ring one of the emergency services, if you want just some publicity, ring your husband then the press.
Bit of advice for anyone interested, If you think your life may be in danger , best to ring one of the emergency services, if you want just some publicity, ring your husband then the press. yorkred

4:56pm Tue 1 Jan 13

realist says...

Poor Husband.

So how did the car become 'submerged'?
Poor Husband. So how did the car become 'submerged'? realist

7:14pm Tue 1 Jan 13

janail says...

Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation.
Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation. janail

7:45pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Digeorge says...

You'd have thought after the last one. Perhaps not, this looks a tad bit deep for my car!

Lucky this time she survived. Perhaps one shouldn't tempt fate another time.
You'd have thought after the last one. Perhaps not, this looks a tad bit deep for my car! Lucky this time she survived. Perhaps one shouldn't tempt fate another time. Digeorge

8:39pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Mipall says...

One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living.
I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically.
As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,
One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living. I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically. As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,, Mipall

8:40pm Tue 1 Jan 13

spottycow says...

BIT of a hair.head if you drive your vehicle into flood water maybe she likes being in the press
BIT of a hair.head if you drive your vehicle into flood water maybe she likes being in the press spottycow

9:27pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Paul Meoff says...

Car broke down with water up to the door handles - hardly surprising is it.

Did she think she was in an amphibious vehicle? What next - a short cut across the Ouse from Bishopthorpe to Fulford?
Car broke down with water up to the door handles - hardly surprising is it. Did she think she was in an amphibious vehicle? What next - a short cut across the Ouse from Bishopthorpe to Fulford? Paul Meoff

10:08pm Tue 1 Jan 13

deathwatch says...

Mipall wrote:
One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living.
I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically.
As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,
Hhmm... Yeah, she "made a mistake" and demonstrated an "error of judgement" by driving her car forward as the water got deeper untill it reached the door handles and (unsurprisingly) the car packed in! Der!!!
Or did the water just suddenly and magically appear around the car, thus trapping her? I doubt it. If she had been 'thinking logically' she wouldn't have drove forward into the flooded water. Or sat there watching it rise to waist deep then thinking 'maybe I have a problem here...'
Oh, and the tsunami had NOTHING to do with her developing MS. Absolute rubbish!
Are all of the survivors now suffering neurological disease as a result of the tsunami? Course not.
a friend of mine witnessed, first hand, a tornado in the USA four years ago. I'd better warn him he may now get a debilitating disease then (choose to) drive his car into an obvious flood. Then whine stupidly about how they can't understand how they ended up in the situation. Hope her insurers tell her to shove it if she tries to claim...
[quote][p][bold]Mipall[/bold] wrote: One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living. I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically. As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,[/p][/quote]Hhmm... Yeah, she "made a mistake" and demonstrated an "error of judgement" by driving her car forward as the water got deeper untill it reached the door handles and (unsurprisingly) the car packed in! Der!!! Or did the water just suddenly and magically appear around the car, thus trapping her? I doubt it. If she had been 'thinking logically' she wouldn't have drove forward into the flooded water. Or sat there watching it rise to waist deep then thinking 'maybe I have a problem here...' Oh, and the tsunami had NOTHING to do with her developing MS. Absolute rubbish! Are all of the survivors now suffering neurological disease as a result of the tsunami? Course not. a friend of mine witnessed, first hand, a tornado in the USA four years ago. I'd better warn him he may now get a debilitating disease then (choose to) drive his car into an obvious flood. Then whine stupidly about how they can't understand how they ended up in the situation. Hope her insurers tell her to shove it if she tries to claim... deathwatch

7:47am Wed 2 Jan 13

dodgydavereturns says...

realist wrote:
Poor Husband.

So how did the car become 'submerged'?
Tsunami! Doh!
[quote][p][bold]realist[/bold] wrote: Poor Husband. So how did the car become 'submerged'?[/p][/quote]Tsunami! Doh! dodgydavereturns

8:15am Wed 2 Jan 13

janail says...

Mipall wrote:
One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living.
I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically.
As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,
For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my commonsense .
[quote][p][bold]Mipall[/bold] wrote: One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living. I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically. As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,[/p][/quote]For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my commonsense . janail

8:27am Wed 2 Jan 13

Paul Meoff says...

janail wrote:
Mipall wrote:
One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living.
I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically.
As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,
For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my commonsense .
Every sympathy and hope you maintain your independence for as long as possible. However, driving into waist deep floods does bring the last line of your post into question.

Rule 1. Don't drive into floods.
Rule 2. Don't shout to the Press about it (unless it is a stunt to publicise fundraising for a worthwhile cause)
[quote][p][bold]janail[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mipall[/bold] wrote: One can only assume that all previous comments have been made by people who have clearly never made a mistake or an error of judgement throughout their very perfect lives. I also assume that all who have written comments are in reasonable good health and are not suffering an illness that gradually takes away someone's independence. Just because this lady does not want to curl up and give in, doesn't mean she has to stop living. I can fully appreciate the way she dealt with the incident. Under such circumstances many of us would call the ones we love before thinking logically. As for the comment regarding not having the strength to get out so therefore maybe should not be driving. Please do pull your head out from that very dark hole. You clearly are very naive with regards to MS...........or is it just ignorance,,[/p][/quote]For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my commonsense .[/p][/quote]Every sympathy and hope you maintain your independence for as long as possible. However, driving into waist deep floods does bring the last line of your post into question. Rule 1. Don't drive into floods. Rule 2. Don't shout to the Press about it (unless it is a stunt to publicise fundraising for a worthwhile cause) Paul Meoff

9:53am Wed 2 Jan 13

Digeorge says...

janail says


For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my common sense.

Agree with that, do you want my medical thesis probably not!?

Paul Meoff says..


Rule 1. Don't drive into floods.
Rule 2. Don't shout to the Press about it (unless it is a stunt to publicise fundraising for a worthwhile cause)

Agree!
janail says For your information I suffer from more tha one illness that is gradually taking away my independence but that doesn't mean that I am also losing my common sense. Agree with that, do you want my medical thesis probably not!? Paul Meoff says.. Rule 1. Don't drive into floods. Rule 2. Don't shout to the Press about it (unless it is a stunt to publicise fundraising for a worthwhile cause) Agree! Digeorge

9:53am Wed 2 Jan 13

Oncebitten says...

Why is the charity rugby match even mentioned....cynical as I am.....a foolish act allows free publicity!!
Why is the charity rugby match even mentioned....cynical as I am.....a foolish act allows free publicity!! Oncebitten

11:14am Wed 2 Jan 13

mmarshal says...

janail wrote:
Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation.
Until recently, I'd have agreed with you but now I'm inclined to be more understanding. In early November whilst driving to work I could see that there were several areas of standing water on the road. It was early morning, dark and raining. There were no road closure signs for flooding but I was still taking it steady, driving at about 35-40 mph. Unfortunately I was being tailgated by a less cautious, impatient driver and his headlights in my rear view mirrors impeded my view of the road. I didn't see the water at all and when I hit it it was almost like hitting a wall and I was brought almost to a standstill. I was immediately swamped and into about 3 feet of water. It came as quite a shock and I was fortunate not to have got stuck. I dipped my clutch and maintained my revs and drove slowly out of the water. That wasn't the end of the problem; the tailgater was a higher vehicle and he actually overtook me in the flood water, again swamping me. Looking through my side window I could just make out the vehicle, a white flat top works vehicle with North Yorkshire County Council printed on the side. Perhaps he was rushing out to put out road closure signs.
[quote][p][bold]janail[/bold] wrote: Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation.[/p][/quote]Until recently, I'd have agreed with you but now I'm inclined to be more understanding. In early November whilst driving to work I could see that there were several areas of standing water on the road. It was early morning, dark and raining. There were no road closure signs for flooding but I was still taking it steady, driving at about 35-40 mph. Unfortunately I was being tailgated by a less cautious, impatient driver and his headlights in my rear view mirrors impeded my view of the road. I didn't see the water at all and when I hit it it was almost like hitting a wall and I was brought almost to a standstill. I was immediately swamped and into about 3 feet of water. It came as quite a shock and I was fortunate not to have got stuck. I dipped my clutch and maintained my revs and drove slowly out of the water. That wasn't the end of the problem; the tailgater was a higher vehicle and he actually overtook me in the flood water, again swamping me. Looking through my side window I could just make out the vehicle, a white flat top works vehicle with North Yorkshire County Council printed on the side. Perhaps he was rushing out to put out road closure signs. mmarshal

11:17am Wed 2 Jan 13

rjm2k1 says...

So rather than simply getting out of the car she waited for someone to come and carry her?
So rather than simply getting out of the car she waited for someone to come and carry her? rjm2k1

2:07pm Wed 2 Jan 13

barbfleming119@gmail.com says...

MS is a progressive disease, but it takes many forms. Driving does not require balance or strength of any great amount. If the car has power steering, power brakes and is an automatic, a person with MS would not necessarily be unable to drive, but they might be unable to walk. The effort expended in walking is overwhelming for me. I don't know what kind of MS this woman has, but if it is the relapsing-remitting kind, she might be having no symptoms at all at present. This does not preclude her from seeking a cure for the disease which is incurable, generally progressively disabling at some point and apparently nearly totally ignored in the UK even though the UK has some of the highest rates of MS in the world.
MS is a progressive disease, but it takes many forms. Driving does not require balance or strength of any great amount. If the car has power steering, power brakes and is an automatic, a person with MS would not necessarily be unable to drive, but they might be unable to walk. The effort expended in walking is overwhelming for me. I don't know what kind of MS this woman has, but if it is the relapsing-remitting kind, she might be having no symptoms at all at present. This does not preclude her from seeking a cure for the disease which is incurable, generally progressively disabling at some point and apparently nearly totally ignored in the UK even though the UK has some of the highest rates of MS in the world. barbfleming119@gmail.com

3:26pm Wed 2 Jan 13

IkonAndDiva says...

mmarshal wrote:
janail wrote:
Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation.
Until recently, I'd have agreed with you but now I'm inclined to be more understanding. In early November whilst driving to work I could see that there were several areas of standing water on the road. It was early morning, dark and raining. There were no road closure signs for flooding but I was still taking it steady, driving at about 35-40 mph. Unfortunately I was being tailgated by a less cautious, impatient driver and his headlights in my rear view mirrors impeded my view of the road. I didn't see the water at all and when I hit it it was almost like hitting a wall and I was brought almost to a standstill. I was immediately swamped and into about 3 feet of water. It came as quite a shock and I was fortunate not to have got stuck. I dipped my clutch and maintained my revs and drove slowly out of the water. That wasn't the end of the problem; the tailgater was a higher vehicle and he actually overtook me in the flood water, again swamping me. Looking through my side window I could just make out the vehicle, a white flat top works vehicle with North Yorkshire County Council printed on the side. Perhaps he was rushing out to put out road closure signs.
I was going to suggest that she hadn't escaped death but idiocy. That statement simply couldn't be true.

As with one reader's comments, looking to attribute blame elsewhere than the driver's ability or lack thereof. It's another classic case of not driving appropriately for the weather and road conditions irrespective of whether additional road-side warning signs had been displayed. And to seek publicity from a foolish act? Embarrassing. Stupid is, as stupid does.
[quote][p][bold]mmarshal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]janail[/bold] wrote: Call me hard but I really don't understand why this woman ( and countless others) attempt to drive through floodwaters and then have to rely on others to rescue them. Surely, if you had any common sense, you would only attempt this in a life or death situation.[/p][/quote]Until recently, I'd have agreed with you but now I'm inclined to be more understanding. In early November whilst driving to work I could see that there were several areas of standing water on the road. It was early morning, dark and raining. There were no road closure signs for flooding but I was still taking it steady, driving at about 35-40 mph. Unfortunately I was being tailgated by a less cautious, impatient driver and his headlights in my rear view mirrors impeded my view of the road. I didn't see the water at all and when I hit it it was almost like hitting a wall and I was brought almost to a standstill. I was immediately swamped and into about 3 feet of water. It came as quite a shock and I was fortunate not to have got stuck. I dipped my clutch and maintained my revs and drove slowly out of the water. That wasn't the end of the problem; the tailgater was a higher vehicle and he actually overtook me in the flood water, again swamping me. Looking through my side window I could just make out the vehicle, a white flat top works vehicle with North Yorkshire County Council printed on the side. Perhaps he was rushing out to put out road closure signs.[/p][/quote]I was going to suggest that she hadn't escaped death but idiocy. That statement simply couldn't be true. As with one reader's comments, looking to attribute blame elsewhere than the driver's ability or lack thereof. It's another classic case of not driving appropriately for the weather and road conditions irrespective of whether additional road-side warning signs had been displayed. And to seek publicity from a foolish act? Embarrassing. Stupid is, as stupid does. IkonAndDiva

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