Tornado survivors return
THIS time 12 months ago, David and Allana Baigent had just survived two life-changing, but very different events.
David had recently finished treatment for leukaemia, so the Cronulla couple decided to head north for a couple of weeks to their all-time favourite holiday spot, the Lake Ainsworth Caravan Park at Lennox Head.
They have been coming to the same spot for more than 30 years and it seemed like the perfect place to relax after the stress of David’s cancer scare.
But just days after arriving and setting up their trusty tent, a water spout came onto land, became a tornado and wreaked havoc on Lennox Head.
And the freak storm seemed to make a beeline for the Baigent campsite.
“It was so scary,” Allana said.
“All I could hear was this noise – it was so loud – and I went outside to have a look.
“David could see just by looking at my face that something was really wrong.
“I said to him, ‘it’s headed right for us, it’s coming towards the tent’.
“We didn’t have time to run so we just held on.
“As it went past I was getting sucked out of the tent.”
Luckily, the tornado – which was by that time full of building materials and other debris – did not directly hit the Baigent tent.
Instead it turned and veered off into the caravan park, destroying several caravans before moving across the lake and back out to sea.
“I’d never seen or heard anything like it,” David said.
“I was worried that it might come back, so I went to check on the vans to see if anyone was hurt. Everyone around us was just in shock.”
The couple says their family and friends wonder why they have returned to Lennox Head on the first anniversary of the tornado.
But they are determined to keep coming back to their favourite holiday destination, regardless of that event.
“We love it here,” David said. “You just can’t beat Lennox and we’ll always be back.” Allana agreed: “We’ve survived David’s cancer and then a tornado. “Someone’s looking out for us, that’s for sure.”