A group of Christian surfers in New Zealand saved a mother and her two sons from drowning on Christmas Day after the family was caught in a near-lethal rip tip tide off the shore of a beach an hour west of Auckland.
The five surfers, who are all members of a local Christian surf club called the North Shore Christian Surfers Group, saved the mother and her two teenage sons who were allegedly close to drowning when the surfers rescued them, The New Zealand Herald reported Thursday.
The surfers, Darren Celliers, Caleb Lemkus, Olly Mason, Lewis Mennie and Troy Duckworth, arrived at Bethells Beach around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday when they were quickly told by a beachgoer of the swimmers in distress. more >>
AirAsia has confirmed that debris from Flight QZ8501 has been discovered in the Karimata Strait, south west of Pangkalan Bun in the Borneo province of Central Kalimantan. At least 40 bodies from the 162 passenger list have already been recovered, leaving grieving family members devastated.
"The warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now," an Indonesia navy spokesman said, according to Fox News.
AirAsia confirmed that the debris and the bodies, found six miles from the flight's last point of contact, are from the missing aircraft. more >>
AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday carrying 162 people on board from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, is likely at the "bottom of the sea," according to search-and-rescue officials.
"Based on the co-ordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea," Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said at a news conference in Jakarta.
In an almost miraculous tale of survival, a dog that got caught 1.5 miles offshore on a sinking boat during a storm in California saved itself by swimming all the way back to land, then sought safety at a church only to be reunited with its owner who feared she had drowned.
Last Thursday, the city of Sausalito, California, experienced a storm described as the biggest to impact the area in several years.
Steve Alioto, the owner of the dog, Daisy, told CBS San Francisco that he'd anchored his boat because he couldn't afford to dock. He said he left Daisy on the boat while he went to help out a friend, but when he returned the only thing he saw of the boat was the mast sticking out of the water. He was devastated. more >>
Typhoon Hagupit is making its way across the Philippines and after hitting the outer provinces, it is set to hit the country's capital of Manila come Monday evening.
Typhoon Hagupit, or locally known as Typhoon Ruby, first landed at Eastern Samar on Saturday and moved slowly across the country, bringing heavy rains and strong wings. Through its route, the typhoon already claimed three lives, two people in central Iloilo who died of hypothermia, including a baby girl, as well as a person hit by tree in eastern Dolores.
Several areas and provinces are still unable to communicate with officials to report damages, injuries or loss of lives, so the numbers may still increase. more >>
At least four people have died, while over a million people were forced to evacuate their homes after Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines over the weekend. But many people are thankful that the damage wasn't worse, given that last year's "super typhoon" Haiyan killed thousands.
"We're happy that we've learned our lessons from our past experiences. This is a good sign," said Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross.
"We saw that with preparation and being alert we prevented tragedy and harm, we took our countrymen away from harm," added Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas. "It is sad to hear news of deaths, but this is very low, way below what the potential was." more >>