British backpacker stranded in Fiji following cyclone
A British backpacker stranded in Fiji may have to be evacuated by helicopter and abandon his luggage following the catastrophic cyclone that killed 18 people, his father fears.
Tony Diver, from Brentwood, Essex, said his son Frazer was stranded on the island with limited food and water.
Mr Diver, 50, said his son had texted him saying he had heard he may have to be rescued by helicopter and taken to Suva on the south east of the island.
He has only had limited contact with his son over text and Whatsapp since the storm swept across the south Pacific island.
Frazer, 19, is part-way through a round-the-world gap year trip and had planned to leave Fiji for Australia on Wednesday after spending a week with his friend and two British girls.
The teenager told his father on Friday they had been evacuated from their coastal hostel inland to Rakiraki - a district in the Ra Province on the northern tip of the main island - ahead of the incoming storm.
His parents then did not hear from him for 24 hours while he waited in a hotel as Cyclone Winston tore through the island.
The next message they received described a situation with "damage all around them, the power off and the phone lines down", with "food and water becoming a bit scarce".
Mr Diver said: "They are only 19 so it is a bit of a shock for them to experience something like this.
"He was told the only way out for them is through helicopter which means they will have to leave their luggage behind, which is a big problem because they have all their lives in their backpacks.
"So it is all a bit of a nightmare for them.
"It seems like they are trapped in the hotel because the roads are blocked so they are waiting for people to come to them rather than the other way round.
"A national tragedy - they have never experienced anything like that before. I imagine they are all a bit nervous.
"My wife is very uneasy - we want to go on a plane and get out there but we can't do that. It is very hard.
"Thankfully the storm has gone and none of them were injured."
Mr Diver added his son was thinking of going into the Royal Air Force and joked: "If he was in the RAF he would be going into these situations rather than leaving them. It is a life experience you won't forget in a hurry."