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Cyclones are not something to be taken lightly, and Mr Hunter found himself in a situation which could have easily defeated even the best of us

An 84-year-old man survived a cyclone which damaged his boat, causing it to sink. He attributes his survival to the fact that he had his wetsuit on when the cyclone hit.

Hugh Hunter, a retired boater and 84-year-old took refuge on the banks of the Fitzroy River after Cyclone Marcia hit Queensland, Australia. He tried to make a run for cover in his catamaran as the cyclone approached, but ran out of time, leaving him fighting for his life in extreme conditions.

"We knew it was coming and people were running around the bend and that's a good spot in the flood. But I felt if it was a full-blown cyclone, there's not much protection from the wind there,” Hugh explained after his rescue. “[There’s] this little creek out between the central island and the mainland [with] nice, well rooted mangroves there. The plan was to go around there and tie myself off to the trees. That was quite a sound plan but it never eventuated because I ran out of time. I ended up being exactly where I didn't want to be and shouldn't have been."

The cyclone pushed Mr Hunter’s boat towards the riverbank, where it hit stumps, punching holes in the hull. As the boat started taking on water, he stuffed a blanket in a bag and jumped ashore. "I went for a walk, but could hardly stand up. I had my wetsuit on because I was so cold. That might have saved me. I could still think anyway. Strangely enough I wasn't frightened."

Fortunately, Mr Hunter realised that his boat still had power, and may still have radio. "I called on the radio and a ship answered. I asked him to inform the police I was still alive and kicking,” Mr Hunter continued. "I was pretty cold and the boat was better than just lying on the grass trying to survive so I sat inside even though it was full of water. I slid the hatch back about 45 minutes later and here's this SES boat in the river right near me. It was just so beautiful when I saw them." Mr Hunter has been reunited with his family, and his boat has been salvaged, ready for repairs.

Wetsuit Centre, UK-based retailer of wetsuits and water sports equipment, take a keen interest in stories like this. A spokesperson for the company commented on the story, saying “We’re delighted to hear that Mr Hunter came out of what could have very easily been a deadly situation, alive and well. Cyclones are not something to be taken lightly, and Mr Hunter found himself in a situation which could have easily defeated even the best of us. We hope he suffers no ill effects and gets back out on the water soon.”

“The fact that this water sports veteran attributes his survival to his wetsuit speaks volumes. Safety is paramount in water sports, and as Mr Hunter has demonstrated that buying the right personal protective equipment pays dividends in the long run, and may even save your life. If you’re thinking about taking part in any surfing, boating or diving, make sure you invest in a high quality wetsuit before you go. Your own life is the one thing you can’t put a price on.”

Based in Bournemouth, Wetsuit Centre is the UK’s largest wetsuit and surfboard supplier. Dedicated water sports specialists, the company provide an extensive range of men’s, women’s and children’s wetsuits and accessories online.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Wetsuit Centre in the following categories: Health, Environment & Nature, Travel, for more information visit