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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
New bid to find tsunami victims
Robert Rowbottom and Sarah Bent
Mr Thewsey is still searching for clues about the couple
A policeman from Harrogate is leading a fresh attempt to find the bodies of two Yorkshire victims of the Asian tsunami.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thewsey has spent much of the last year identifying hundreds of bodies on the island of Phuket in Thailand.

Now he is hoping to find more of the missing victims including Sarah Bent and Robert Rowbottom who both lived near York, North Yorkshire.

DCI Thewsey said a beach hit by the waters could still hold vital clues.

Mr Thewsey said: "On one side of the island there was a sea wall and as the tsunami came in, anything in the water, and there were a lot of boats, some with people in them were swept towards the wall.

"As the water swept in towards the wall it collapsed and there's a strong possibility, and expert opinion, that there may well be bodies under the wall."

It's hard to understand that situation, being so far away from it
John Rowbottom

Robert Rowbottom's father John said it was still difficult for the family to understand what had happened.

"It's just mind-boggling, we thought those stages (of searching) were over a long time ago and apparently they're not.

"It's hard to understand that situation, being so far away from it, it's very difficult to understand what's going on the ground over there."

Mr Rowbottom added the past nine months had been a trying time for the whole family.

"There was a lady interviewed on television and she had assumed her son had been killed in the London bombings, she was kind of ranting about why her son had not been found.

"I just sat there staggered and thought I'd like to have a word with that lady and ask her how she thought it feels after nine months and not just days."

Families' fears for missing pair
30 Dec 04 |  North Yorkshire



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