A 23-year-old Spalding man has spoken of the gruelling week he spent as part of a humanitarian rescue effort following the Nepal earthquake.
Adam Turner was part of a 16-strong charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) team, based in Kathmandu.
He flew safely home on Sunday, much to the relief of his father Kevin who has been busy fundraising – and just in time of his birthday.
Relaxing before returning to work at Cotswolds Outdoor in Peterborough yesterday, Adam said: “I don’t think the impact of the trip has sunk in yet.
“I was part of a logistic support team helping with the communications between teams tasking, home and the United Nations.
“We were not involved in live rescues – Search and Rescue has finished now.
Adam TurnerI was excited to have been chosen to be part of the international effort but it was also daunting
“But the humanitarian work which is continuing and will be for many months to come.”
The LIVES First Responder who had spent one weekend per month for 18 months training to become an Operational Team member for SARAID was part of 55 rescue missions operating 12 to 14-hour days in Kathmandu. Adam’s team had travelled with 1½ tonnes of the latest rescue equipment, including sound and vibration detection equipment, as well as specialised search cameras to help locate victims trapped under buildings and cutting equipment to help tunnel into collapsed buildings to rescue them.
In addition, they had to carry stretchers and medical kit, ropes, generators, tents, satellite communications and their own food, to ensure they are not a strain on local resources.
He said: “I was excited at first being chosen to be part of the international effort but it was also daunting.
“The scenes of devastation were overwhelming. Many of the older buildings are totally collapsed and work has now started to clear them, provide shelter and cater for sanitation and hygiene needs.
“There are a lot of displaced people living in the streets.
“Even if their homes had not been displaced they chose to live outside in makeshift tents because they feared getting trapped after one of the aftershocks.”
Since returning home, Adam said he hadn’t even thought about his birthday.
He said: “I’m just happy to be back and trying to catch up with some sleep.
“I’ve suffered jetlag quite badly because Kathmandu is four-and-a-half hours ahead of us. But it’s back to reality and my day job now – until the next time.”
His dad, Kevin, was especially pleased to see Adam home.
He said: “I’m relieved but very proud.”