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Posted: 1/7/2005 8:38:22 PM EDT

The last time Anders Bang-Ericsson saw Ragnar, his 2½-year-old son, the boy was "floating away on the waves, away from me, on his blue water wings."

The tsunami that struck on Dec. 26 demolished the two-story beachfront resort villa where the family had taken refuge and wrenched Ragnar from his father's grasp.

"It was like being in a big washing machine, thrown around, tumbled around," Mr. Bang-Ericsson said, speaking deliberately for fear of losing control. "I had to change grip in order to swim better. But then I lost hold of him for a second. The last thing he said to me was, 'Daddy, I am scared.' "

Almost two weeks after the tsunami roared through their lives, Mr. Bang-Ericsson and his wife, Lise, sat on the edge of a hotel room bed here Thursday night, recounting their hope that Ragnar, in his beloved water wings, had been swept into the temporary care of a stranger.

"If he didn't get caught into debris, maybe he floated ashore and is alive and well somewhere," Mr. Bang-Ericsson, a Swede, said of his only child, who started swimming lessons at 6 months. "We will stay here in Thailand until we know one way or other. We cannot leave him. He is just a small boy."
The day after Christmas, the Bang-Ericssons were at the pool by 9 a.m. "It was a perfect morning, and we had just had breakfast and we were playing with little Ragnar in the swimming pool in the back of the bungalows," Mr. Bang-Ericsson said. "Suddenly someone came shouting, saying 'climb up, there is a tidal wave coming.' "

Scanning the normally gentle waters of the Andaman Sea, they soon found themselves facing a roaring, rapidly advancing wave twice as high as the two-story villa where they sought refuge.

"I was carrying Ragnar in my arms, but we were all flushed out of the room through the concrete wall," Mr. Bang-Ericsson recounted. "We were floating at a speed that I was later told was at 30 kilometers an hour. We were struggling with a lot of debris, garden furniture, trees, cars, electric cables."

From this maelstrom, someone pulled Mr. Bang-Ericsson into the safety of a tree's upper branches.

Meanwhile, his wife was clinging to a floating door, essentially body boarding for over a mile until the force of the wave finally died on the edge of a rubber plantation.

"There were cars in the water, houses floating next to me, refrigerators, beds," Ms. Bang-Ericsson said, recalling her desperate effort not to be crushed by floating debris. "Then I saw an electricity pole started crashing down in front of me. I thought now I am going to get strangled. Then, everything went black."

Twenty-four hours later, the husband and wife were reunited, suffering from relatively minor scrapes and bruises. Since then, they have been searching for their son.

"Please help us find little Ragnar!!" appeals their one-page flier, posted everywhere, from Phuket's international airport to Buddhist temples being used as morgues. From the flier grins a big-boned, square-headed Scandinavian boy, a perpetual-motion machine caught in a slightly blurred image.

"Sometimes, I think it unfair that we survived," Ms. Bang-Ericsson, a Norwegian, said. "It is not fair that he is alone. There must be a reason that we are alive."

Moving quickly to steady his wife, Mr. Bang-Ericsson said firmly, "We just want to know if someone has seen him or can give us information about his destiny."

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:48:08 PM EDT
God have mercy on this world.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:51:00 PM EDT
Of course some here say that that was just God thinning the herd, and that they deserved it.

That attitude is sick.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:52:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:54:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:03:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
She can't get it out of her system.

I've been trying to avoid the individual stories for that very reason.

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:07:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:10:14 PM EDT
I think everyone who reads this and has kids put's their face on the image of a little boy being swept away and calling to us while we are helpless to do anything!

How aweful for these parents, and the millions of others affected.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:11:44 PM EDT
God bless that family.

It's a sign of the times fellas - days are short.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:21:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 9:52:02 AM EDT by TheRedHorseman]
ignore me I know nothing
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:32:38 PM EDT
God have mercy on those poor people, I just can't imagine what thats like for them.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:36:33 PM EDT
Yes it is a tragedy. I feel bad for all of the non-muslims.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:48:10 PM EDT
That is horrible. But we are in the last days for sure. The bible clearly states that the Generation that witnesses Israel's return as a nation will not pass before the coming of the lord. And that in the last days there will be much anguish and suffering and disasters.

However that doesnt make it any easier to hear about or experience.  May God have mercy on all those who have suffered and lost.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 9:59:19 PM EDT
I'll tell ya what gets me worked up, is knowing shit like this happened and IT WAS PREVENTABLE!!
If the damned Asian countries had just put in a tsunami warning system like they SHOULD have done......
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:23:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Yeah you forgot to mention the guys religion or if he was from California possibly.

Sad story times 150,000 and counting ... . My wife has been transfixed upon the tragedy since the first day watching the news eight or ten hours a day. She can't get it out of her system.

Is her family all okay?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:30:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lockem:
That is horrible. But we are in the last days for sure. The bible clearly states that the Generation that witnesses Israel's return as a nation will not pass before the coming of the lord. And that in the last days there will be much anguish and suffering and disasters.

Which generation might that be? Israel was created long before I was born & the majority of the WWII generation are dead now.

Do you think that anguish ,suffering & disasters are new? Israel was founded over 50 years ago, how many disasters, wars, mass murderings, diseases, etc. have happened before or since?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 10:45:55 PM EDT
No god.

Poor boy, poor father.
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