Ed Driscoll

Talk About Not Knowing What Hit You

CNN shows the final photos taken by a Canadian couple vacationing at Khao Lak, a Thai resort, when the tsunami hit on the day after Christmas:


John and Jackie Knill of North Vancouver, frequent visitors to the popular Thai resort, Khao Lak, were apparently on the beach when the tsunami hit December 26.

The couple disappeared and relatives say they were notified about a week ago that the identities of their remains had been confirmed.

Searchers later also recovered the couple’s destroyed digital camera but were able to print photos from its memory card.

In a sequence of photos over the course of a few minutes, some curious onlookers are shown wandering onto suddenly exposed tidal flats, a sign of the impending tsunami. In one, a large wave appears to be breaking in the distance.

The pictures show that within minutes, the wave grows larger and some beachgoers begin to take notice.

“I don’t know why they didn’t run,” their son Christian Knill told Global TV in Vancouver. “Either they knew they couldn’t or they didn’t know the power of the wave.”

(One quibble: why the “apparently”?)

The first shot the couple took (linked to above) looks to me like just another set of ocean waves in the distance. Strictly from the appearance of it, there’s no way on earth I’d know that trouble was on the horizon.

Radio man Glenn Beck has an assemblage of amateur camcorder videos of the tsunami on his Website, all of which is a reminder of how increasingly these days news is documented by everyday people with camcorders, digital cameras, and/or Weblogs, not just by those at the TV networks and wire services.