Hurricane Irma: Londoner 'thankful to be here' after rescue from storm-hit Caribbean

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A British holidaymaker who live-tweeted his ordeal at the hands of Hurricane Irma has spoken of his relief after he was rescued by the US Air Force.

Alex Woolfall said he was “thankful to be here” after being caught in the path of the deadly superstorm while on holiday on the Caribbean island of St Martin.

The PR consultant, from London, went on Twitter to post updates as winds battered the Westin Hotel, where he was sheltering in a concrete stairwell.

He wrote: “My God this noise! It’s like standing behind a jet engine!! Constant booms & bangs. At least concrete stairwell not moving.”

After the storm passed, Mr Woolfall was airlifted to safety in Puerto Rico by a military plane as another powerful hurricane, Jose, approached.

“I am just tired but very thankful to be here,” he said following his rescue.

“I think probably all those on vacation would say it was a nightmare but it’s over for us.

“What about the people of St Martin and the other islands? I just hope the aid and support they need comes.”

Mr Woolfall described the devastation he witnessed on the island after Irma flattened the tropical holiday destination.

Hurricane Irma in Florida

He said: “It’s very badly damaged and it’s heart-breaking to see people whose homes have been destroyed sitting outside in the street, especially when you see young children too.”

Mr Woolfall said local hotel staff continued coming to work, despite the damage to their own property, while the manager worked tirelessly to arrange planes.

“I found that astonishing and very moving,” he added.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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