In 2004, Philip Hollingworth was a lucky survivor of the horrific Boxing Day tsunami which claimed 225,000 lives.
Now, seven years on, the trauma of that day has spurred him to a total lifestyle change.
Philip and partner Christine were on holiday in the Maldives when the tsunami hit.
Selflessly he went into the water after hearing his hotel manager’s family screaming. His heroics were in vain and the couple themselves had to be rescued by a Pakistani warship. They returned to Halifax without any of their possessions, but with their lives.
Since that day Philip has ditched his life in Highroad Well, Halifax, working at Marshalls in Elland, for a new life in the sun with Christine.
The couple, who have since married, swapped the hills of Yorkshire for the beautiful Cape Verde islands, off the coast of Senegal in Africa where Philip runs a successful game fishing business.
Holly’s Big Game fishing takes visitors on a fishing adventure round the island, whether they are new or experienced.
Philip, who is currently back visiting Halifax, said: “We lost everything including our passports and decided we wanted a change in lifestyle because of coming so close to losing our lives.”
“It’s an up-and-coming area but it is struggling with the recession.
“The lifestyle is great. There’s no rat race.”
The island is 17 miles by six miles and just 250 miles from the equator, which means the average temperature is 24C.
During their visits Philip became known by a local fisherman. A skipper then talked him into buying two boats which are 30ft and 40ft.
And that’s why he’s back in Halifax. He stills buys his parts from his hometown.
Instead of long days grafting, his days are now either 8am to Noon or until 4pm, fishing for marlin, tuna and dorado, being on the island has also extended his fishing finds to species including the Wahoo.
He has even caught sharks during tis working day.
For now Philip is home, catching up with family and finding the parts needed to fix his boat. And then, it’s back to paradise.
For more information on his business www.mycapeverdeinfo.com.