A COUPLE have told how they feared for their lives after being caught up in the devastation of Hurricane Wilma.
Terrified Sharon and Gareth Pruskin, of Squirrels Close, Accrington, were unaware of the approaching disaster when they landed for what should have been a luxury one-week holiday in the Mexican resort of Cancun.
But their dream holiday fast turned into a nightmare when the hurricane hit the resort at full speed, wrecking hotels and houses in its wake.
The frightened duo told how they were forced to:
- Abandon their hotel, leaving their luggage behind.
- Survive for two days on tuna and rice.
- Flee to safety in the Dominican Republic.
Sharon, 33, who works as a pharmacy assistant in Burnley, said: "When we first got there we were totally unaware a hurricane was coming until we asked the receptionist for an ocean-facing room and were told they couldn't let us have one because of the approaching storm.
"We later had a letter under our door telling us we would have to evacuate the hotel.''
Sharon and Gareth, who works for a toiletries firm in Altham, were forced to take shelter in a motel and share a room with another couple, where they had basic rations of bowls of rice and tuna.
Sharon said: "The hurricane sounded like an aeroplane going overhead. We saw trees and the top part of a mobile phone mast come down. It was really noisy.
"While we were there we couldn't go very far as the whole area was enclosed.
"We were very frightened and the worst part of it was not knowing what was going to happen next."
On the 13th day of their ordeal they were flown out of the wrecked resort to the Dominican Republic - but were forced to leave all their suitcases behind in Cancun.
Sharon said: "We had only our hand-luggage, which meant we were in the same clothes all the time. People were having to wear T-shirts given to them by the holiday reps.
"When we got back to England I was really pleased to be home. We are still not sure if we will get our things back.
"We went to Cancun because we had been there a few years earlier and really liked it. But I can definitely say we won't be going again."