Relief as Ipswich tourists in Tunisia make contact with home

In this screen grab taken from video provided by Tunisia TV1, injured people are treated on the beac

In this screen grab taken from video provided by Tunisia TV1, injured people are treated on the beach. - Credit: ap

One couple and a family from Suffolk were on the beach in the tourist resort of Sousse this morning when the shooting began.

An Ipswich father has spoken of his relief after learning that his son and his girlfriend are safe and well following mass shootings at a tourist resort in Tunisia earlier today.

Simon Merry and his partner Chloe were on the beach near the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba, in the Port El Kantaoui neighbourhood of Sousse, at the time of the incident in which 37 people - including five Britons - were killed.

His father, Roy Merry, told the East Anglian Daily Times of his “extreme relief” after receiving a phonecall from Simon later in the day, and said he had been worried after hearing of the news on TV.

He said the couple fled to the hotel reception before returning to their room. On a second call home, Mr Merry said they were both in the foyer of the hotel with other guests.

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The couple, who flew to Tunisia last Sunday, want to return back to England as soon as possible.

Former Kesgrave High School pupil Tom Empson was also said to be near the beach this morning when the gunfire erupted. The 21-year-old posted on social media site Facebook last night: “Not sure if people are getting my texts but just to let you all know I’m all good and so is everybody else x”.

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