‘WE THOUGHT WE WOULD DIE’

Holiday Horror:Helen and Mick Sharp of Eastwood, who were caught up in the flash floods in Benidorm that claimed the lives of two British holidaymakers.
Holiday Horror:Helen and Mick Sharp of Eastwood, who were caught up in the flash floods in Benidorm that claimed the lives of two British holidaymakers.

AN Eastwood couple have revealed how they thought they were going to die when they were caught up in a flash flood in Spain.

Speaking to the Advertiser this week, pensioners Helen and Mick Sharp spoke about their terror as a 5ft-high flood swept through a village near Benidorm last month killing two people.

flash floods

flash floods

Mrs Sharp – who is 68-years-old and has already suffered two heart attacks and had a double by-pass – said she thought it was ‘the end’.

“It was a feeling of absolute terror,” she said.

“I remember the water lapping up and hitting my neck and I thought this is it. I’m going to die.

“I knew that if I had slipped down I would not have got back up.”

flash floods

flash floods

Vans, cars and market stalls were sliding down the road, and people were being washed underneath them, said Mrs Sharp.

The couple were looking around a market in the village of La Cala Finistra when the freak flood hit.

It started off as a rain shower and the couple sheltered under a market stall. But they said as it got heavier, the tarpaulin on the stall began to give way under the force of the rain so they decided to move on.

“It just all of a sudden came down. It gradually got deeper and deeper,” said Mrs Sharp.

“The stuff was being washed off the stalls and hitting the backs of our legs. Handbags, fruit and vegetables.

“Then the stalls themselves started coming down, and we had the tarpaulin and huge bits of iron smacking the backs of our legs.

“We would touch a van or a stall to hold on to and it would move with us. The power of the water was unbelievable.

“I looked at Mick and it was sheer terror on his face. I’ve never seen him like that.”

The couple just managed to stay upright to avoid being swept away.

Mr Sharp said his main concern was holding his wife up.

“I was frightened of her having another heart attack because it was that terrifying,” he added.

“I thought she’d be a goner.

“How would I have coped with holding her up and holding myself up as well. We would have just been swept away. I was petrified,” he said.

Eventually one of the stall holders dragged the couple out of the water.

“If it hadn’t been for him I don’t know what would have happened,” Mrs Sharp said.

The couple were originally planning on taking their two grandchildren to Benidorm with them, and said if they had, they would not still be with them today.

The great-grandmother revealed she still feels in shock three weeks later, and has written an account of what happened to try and help her come to terms with it.

Even today she says she can still smell the sewage that was mixed in with the water and Mr Sharp can ‘still see it all’ when he closes his eyes.

Last July the local authority to La Cala Finistra was fined 83,000 Euros for asphalting the bed of the ravine where the market was, without permission.

An inquiry is now being held to establish why a market was being held when public events on the road had been banned.

A British couple in their 70s died in the flood.