Suffolk man and son who were stranded in Bali on way back to UK after airport reopens

Windy Miller (front left) with members of the diving party at Kuala Lumpur airport. Picture: CONTRIB

Windy Miller (front left) with members of the diving party at Kuala Lumpur airport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk man and his son who were stranded on Bali following the closure of the island’s international airport due to volcano eruption fears are now on their way back to the UK.

Clouds of ash from the Mount Agung volcano. Picture: AP/FIRDIA LISNAWATI

Clouds of ash from the Mount Agung volcano. Picture: AP/FIRDIA LISNAWATI - Credit: AP

Windy Miller, 52, from Hepworth, near Stanton, and son Aidan, 18, were on a diving trip when the volcano alert for Mount Agung was raised to its highest level – meaning there was an imminent threat of a major eruption.

The 30-strong diving party that Mr Miller and his son travelled with were evacuated to a hotel near Denpasar airport on the south side of the Indonesian island following the category four alert.

Mount Agung had been spewing clouds of ash since the weekend, which affected more than 445 flights from the island.

The airport reopened on Wednesday due to a change in the wind, which gave airlines a window to get tourists off the island while authorities stepped up efforts to get thousands of villagers moved to safety.

Mount Agung volcano spews smoke and ash in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia. Picture: AP/FIRDIA LISNAWAT

Mount Agung volcano spews smoke and ash in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia. Picture: AP/FIRDIA LISNAWATI - Credit: AP


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The decision to resume flights followed an emergency meeting at the airport, with authorities weighing up weather conditions as well as other data.

Speaking to the EADT yesterday, Mr Miller, who runs Blue Wave Martial Arts classes in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, said he had landed at Kuala Lumpur airport and was facing a 12 and a half-hour layover before flying back to the UK.

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He said: “It was chaos at the airport in Denpasar but we managed to get on our flight at 3pm on Wednesday.

“We’ve now got a 12 and a half-hour layover here in Kuala Lumpur and are in the process of having a hotel arranged for us.

“There are 13 of us from the group here in Kuala Lumpur and people are very pleased to be out of there and are looking forward to getting back.”

“Everyone is in good spirits.”

More than 4,500 people have now flown out of Bali’s main airport, with around 3,200 of them on international flights, according to authorities.

However, the airport on nearby Lombok island - also a popular tourist destination - closed again yesterday after ash and smoke drifted in its direction.

The Foreign Office warned tourists that travel to and from Bali is currently subject to disruption and airport closures are likely to continue to occur at short notice due to Mount Agung’s eruption.

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