The American couple were with a tour group exploring the island when ash silently mushroomed from the volcano's crater. 'I get anxious. While it was a major step in the 23-year-old's recovery, it was a tough reminder that the home she once knew will never be again. When the volcano erupted there were 47 people on the island. The ongoing seismic and volcanic activity in … More than six months on, these are the stories of the White Island survivors. 'I'm only here today because of their selfless act of donating. 'The events of that day still feel unreal, yet the effects of that day are felt daily,' they said. READ MORE: 'It does not get easier': Melbourne survivor of White Island eruption speaks of grief, anxiety, pain December 9, the day crater blew, was also Mr Milbank's 19 th birthday. 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The volcano eruption not only left her with third-degree burns to 70 per cent of her body and without part of her fingers, but it also claimed the lives of her father and younger sister. Kelsey Waghorn was one of two Kiwis who survived. Just that they hadn't come back.'. Harrowing footage shows terrifying moment guide tells tourists to start running as White Island erupts, Copyright © 2020 MediaWorks TV - All Rights Reserved, By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Access and Privacy Policy. The ability to open a two-litre bottle of soft drink was a momentous occasion for Rick and Ivy Reed on their road to recovery. Eruption survivors threaten to sue White Island Tours. Stephanie lost her father Paul and sister Krystal in the White Island tragedy. 'You know what you've got to do to survive and that was all I was really thinking about doing at the time. 'I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all blood donors – you saved my life', Ms Waghorn told The New Zealand Herald. The White Island volcano erupted on December 9, 2019, with 47 people trapped on the island. They clambered onto an inflatable dinghy and then onto a nearby boat. 'It was the darkest, most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my life. He's spoken out about his road to recovery. Volcanic Air and six other private helicopter company staff members flew their aircraft to Whakaari/White Island on the day of the eruption and rescued survivors. Waghorn and Milbank were walking back to the wharf with their group when White Island unleashed. Thankfully the 72-year-old was transported from intensive care to the burns unit in January - a major step on his way to recovery. Kelsey Waghorn was one of two Kiwis who survived. "It's an image that I'll never get out of my head. The natural disaster … Kelsey Waghorn was wearing only a t-shirt, shorts and hiking boots when the plumes of skin searing gas and ash began raining down across White Island. Twenty-two people were killed, including two who are missing and declared dead, and a further 25 people suffered injuries, many of whom suffered severe burns. 23 Jul, 2020 12:43 AM 4 minutes to read. During those operations Ms Waghorn, 26, required 28 blood transfusions. It was only thanks to the efforts of nearby tourists and several local pilots that survivors made it off the island alive on 9 December 2019. White Island tour guide survivor Jake Milbank shares dramatic recovery image Jake was a tour guide who narrowly escaped death while on White Island during the eruption… New Zealand volcano eruption leaves survivors with extensive burns . The volcano eruption not only left her with third-degree burns to 70 per cent of her body but also without part of her fingers, Stephanie Browitt (left, right), 23, told friends earlier this month that time has not made the White Island volcano eruption any easier. A lawyer representing Australian victims of the Whakaari/White Island disaster says they are exploring legal action against White Island Tours. There were days where they lay oblivious to the gravity of what had happened while their families felt it intensely. 'Nothing short of miraculous': the long road ahead for injured survivors of White Island Recovery won’t be easy for the Australians burned in the New … Six months already and it still feels like it happened just yesterday. I hate it so much, it does not get easier. A White Island Tours worker who stayed home sick on the day of the eruption is still grappling with survivor's guilt and trauma one year on. The 19-year-old suffered burns to the majority of his body, but was somehow the only member of his family to survive the disaster. Incredibly Mrs Cozad had no idea what had happened until she received a call from her daughter back in Australia, asking if everyone was OK. 'It all went downhill from there,' Mrs Cozad told The Canberra Times. Survivors from the volcanic eruption in New Zealand have described their terrifying ordeal. Another survivor, Jake Milbank, was working on White Island and celebrating his 19th birthday ... Footage shows first rescue helicopter landing on White Island after huge eruption … You could feel rocks pelting down on your hard hat. 'She then recalled how rocks were falling everywhere and hitting her on the back. Both were tour guides on December 9, the day it erupted, causing the deaths of 21 people and injuring many more. 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Watch: White Island eruption survivors share terrifying survival stories. 'Honestly, every time it's the ninth of each month I can feel my heart racing and my body tense as the memory of it floods back in my mind,' she wrote on Instagram. Winona, whose body was never recovered and is believed to have been washed out to sea, was remembered as a vibrant teen with a love for music and animals. At the time of the eruption, New Zealand police said 47 people were on the tiny island, off the east coast of the North Island. 'She remembers it exploding and then telling everyone to run,' a close friend said in the aftermath. He watched on from his hospital bed as his parents Anthony and Kristine, and sister Winona, were laid to rest in January. 'You could just feel your skin burning, sizzling. No more survivors on White Island after volcanic eruption: police By Megan Levy and Zach Hope Updated December 10, 2019 — 7.00am first published at 3.18am Only 26 would survive the blast. Today marks exactly a year since the eruption of Whakaari/White Island, a volcano off the coast of Whakatāne in the Bay of Plenty. Krystal Browitt, 21, was killed in the blast, while her father Paul died of his injuries in hospital. 'Of course I was frightened a little bit... but it all came down to that fight or flight kind of thing,' he said. ', Ms Dallow missed her husband's funeral as she was in an induced coma in hospital recovering from her injuries, Gavin Dallow, 53, (left) and his step-daughter, 15-year-old Zoe Hosking, (right) died when the volcano erupted on White Island in December, John Cozad (right) managed to make it off White Island alive, but his son Chris was killed in the eruption. A Kiwi woman who survived the Whakaari White Island eruption has shared her terrifying and courageous story on camera for the first time. Just minutes before the volcano erupted the couple had smiled happily for a camera, excited about the adventure they were set to embark on. "We ran for cover, time slowed down, it felt like it was taking minutes, but it was seconds," Waghorn said. Jake Milbank, 19, suffered burns to 80 percent of his body when White Island erupted on December 9, 2019. Geoff Hopkins says he will never forget the cries as the survivors of the White Island volcano eruption were pulled aboard the boat. While he can't raise his arms over his head or touch the ground his parents and sister have been by his side to support him throughout his recovery. ... and provide emergency services to those affected, after the eruption on White Island, also known as … 'It means so much more to the people who need it, and their loved ones, than I think anyone else realises.'. There were 47 people on the island at the time. As more than 700 people packed into a Sydney school hall to farewell Anthony, 51, Kristine, 46, and Winona Langford, 17, a eulogy written by brave Jesse was read out. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. After two months in a coma, Lisa Dallow woke to the horrible news that her daughter and husband were dead. "I remember looking at my arm and seeing my skin hanging off, and my hands, I went to grab one of the rails, and the skin on my palm just slid off," Milbank said. As ash and debris rained down, Ms Urey gripped her husband's hand and told him she loved him. 'Having to have someone else there to put your shoes on and off is a lot different to what you're used to.'. Tragedy also struck for John Cozad, who managed to make it off White Island alive but lost his son Chris in the process. I just hope every other victim and myself "manage", because that's all we can do.'. ', Mr Millbank said he remembers 'basically everything' beginning from the time he arrived back on the wharf in Whakatane. 21 people died as a result of the White Island eruption. 'You could feel your skin sizzling': White Island survivors... 'It hurts more and more': Australian woman who suffered... Jacinda Ardern is the most popular New Zealand PM in more... Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19, White Island eruption survivor Kelsey Waghorn's message to her blood donors - NZ Herald, White Island survivors reveal incredible escape | Nine News Australia - YouTube. As they huddled behind a rock in the hope it would provide shelter, the couple could feel their skin 'peeling' off. 'They said you needed to run': Tour group's 'surreal conversation' about what to do if White Island erupted just before it did, 'Run!' Stephanie Browitt, 24, survived the deadly White Island volcano eruption. Four Corners has uncovered the chaos and disorganisation in the hours that followed the Whakaari/White Island eruption, which killed 21 people and left many others badly injured.. The disaster would claim the lives of 21 people, Stephanie Browitt (left) survived the White Island disaster, but her sister Krystal (right) and their father Paul were both killed instantly, After more than six months of treatment in hospital Stephanie, 23, returned home last month to the excitement of her much loved pet dog. I can't say we have adapted to the new normal, I can say we have made adjustments where necessary and we are working through OT, PT, therapy and upcoming surgery to make the very best of our situation.'. Having bared the brunt of the 300C gas that erupted from the volcano Mr Millbank said it was the things he had once taken for granted that were now most special to him. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face,' Mr Urey told Nine News. I'll always be thankful to everyone who dropped what they were doing to "just donate blood". White Island remains too dangerous to access, but … The American couple's injuries were so severe they remained in New Zealand for two months before doctors deemed them stable enough to journey back to the U.S, Jesse Langford (front) was the only member of his family to survive the White Island tragedy. The eruption - which happened off the coast of Whakatane on New Zealand's North Island - saw tourists trapped on the island, unable to outrun the plumes of acidic gas and ash that surrounded them. It should have been the happiest time of their lives, but Matt and Lauren Urey's honeymoon turned to disaster on December 9. 21 people died as a result of the eruption, some instantly, while others succumbed to their injuries in hospital. 'Things like putting your socks on and off, you don't think of that being a very big thing until you can't do it,' he told Newshub. Horrific burns and the loss of loved ones mean the events of December 9, 2019, will forever live with those who were lucky enough to make it out alive. 'If I grabbed something, my hand just slid off because my skin was peeling off. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. When paramedics met them, the pain killers were no relief at all and some of victims' bodies were too burnt for medics to administer to them. Mr Milbank was rescued on tour boat The Phoenix after the eruption and remembers concentrating on staying awake to keep himself alive on the journey to the mainland. Six months after the Whakaari/White Island eruption, survivor Kelsey Waghorn has spent the weekend at the base of three other New Zealand volcanoes. White Island survivors share final photo before eruption: We were buried 'in hot volcanic ash and toxic gases' ... Ivy has posted a photo of the pair on White Island prior to the eruption. Lisa Dallow, 48, (centre) survived the eruption but her husband Gavin, 53, (left) and daughter Zoe Hosking, 15, (right) never made it off White Island alive on December 9 LISA DALLOW 'She was a member of the (Willoughby Girls High) school band and played the flute, taking huge delight when the band toured the USA in 2016,' the memorial booklet at the funeral read. After being carried from the island by rescuers, Kelsey Waghorn (pictured) spent 65 days in hospital - five of those in a coma - and required 14 different surgeries, Ms Waghorn this week thanked the blood donors who helped her survive during the months of treatment she required. New Zealand remembers volcano tragedy. She suffered burns to 70 per cent of her body in the blast on December 9 2019. That respect brought him back to the island that has changed his life. 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