UK girl who saved tourists during tsunami honoured | india | Hindustan Times
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UK girl who saved tourists during tsunami honoured

A French children's magazine named as its "Child of the Year" a British schoolgirl who was credited with saving about 100 tourists at a Thai beach when the tsunami struck last year.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2005 04:05 IST

A French children's magazine named as its "Child of the Year" a British schoolgirl who was credited with saving about 100 tourists at a Thai beach when the tsunami struck last year.

The upcoming issue of 'Mon Quotidien', which hits newsstands on Tuesday, features a smiling Tilly Smith on its cover in a snapshot from Phuket where she and her family were vacationing last Christmas. The picture was presumably taken before disaster struck.

Smith, now 11, had studied tsunamis in her geography class in Oxshott, a small community just south of London, two weeks before going to Thailand on vacation.

On a morning walk on a Phuket Island beach on December 26, 2004, Smith recognised the warning signs that a tsunami was coming when she saw "bubbling on the water... And foam sizzling just like in a frying pan."

She told her parents and alerted staff at the Marriott Hotel, where they were staying. The beach was evacuated minutes before waves struck. The beach was one of the few on Phuket where no one was killed or seriously hurt.

Nearly 400 readers of the magazine, which caters to children, aged 10-14, responded to a year-end survey to elect a child who left the greatest mark on 2005.

"If Tilly hadn't been there, the tsunami would have killed more people," said one 10-year-old respondent identified by her first name, Domitille.