'Siddal six' stranded on Thai island amid worst storms for 30 years

Holiday makers from Siddal are stranded on a remote Thai island.
Holiday makers from Siddal are stranded on a remote Thai island.

A group of tourists from Siddal are stranded on the Thai island of Koh Tao battling what is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in 30 years.

The friends, who arrived on the island two days ago, said they had been given no indication that a storm was on its way and that communication from authorities on the island has been non-existent.

The initial storm, which included winds of up to 50miles per hour, hit the island at 12:45 local time (05:45 GMT). Now the tourists are awaiting a second wind, which is expected to hit in the next few hours.

Jade Ditchfield, 28, one of the six Siddal holiday-makers caught up in the chaos, said it had been a difficult few days, but that they were refusing to let the situation get them down.

"We're soldiering on," she said, "we're using that Siddal spirit!

"The storm itself was horrendous. There were trees flying around and things falling off roofs. It was really dangerous and we were told by locals that we had to stay inside.

"When we arrived it was crazy - you couldn't move for bikes, buses and cars flying around, but it's a ghost town out there now. It's creepy. The supermarkets don't have any food left and the whole island is holed up inside."

Thousands of people have left the Koh Tao and other surrounding islands, although there has been no official evacuation.

Jade, who works in support of people with learning difficulties, said: "We arrived by boat yesterday and it was horrible. It was a two-hour journey and it was so choppy - I just threw up all the way and one girl passed out. But nobody said anything about the storm or that it might have to be evacuated.

"We've had no information whatsoever. We're just finding things out off news on the internet like everyone else.

"They've stopped all the ferries and the planes. We're just stuck here. We're worried we might not make it back to our journey on Wednesday now, which will make life difficult for work and everything.

"But we're sticking together. Save the Siddal six!"

Jade, Amy Rebecca Habergham, Lee Berry, Jade Ditchfield, Luke McEvoy and Richard Sutcliffe are six of around 10,000 tourists stuck on islands across Thailand.

The UK Foreign Office is advising Britons to avoid all but essential travel to provinces near the Thai-Malaysia border.