A New Zealand surfer escaped death in the Samoan tsunami by riding out the giant waves that surged over the Pacific Island.
Hospitality student Chris Nel was surfing on the south coast of Savai'i island when the 8.3 magnitude quake struck on Wednesday morning, The Dominion Post reported.
He had been in the water with four other New Zealand surfers and an Australian when the first signs of the tsunami appeared.
"All of a sudden the water went real weird, it kind of glassed off and got real lumpy, then we started moving real quick, getting sucked out to sea.
"It was pretty scary looking back and seeing the reef completely dried up. It looked like a volcanic riverbed - it was just gone."
A "big-as spurt of water" then hit the shore, Nel said.
"I was thinking, `this is it, we're going to get washed away and smashed into the jungle'."
The surfers struggled to reach the shore and they lay on the surfboards as more wave surges swept in, riding them out and trying not to get smashed on the beach.
"After about 35 or 45 minutes of floating around we managed to time it between a surge to get to land through the reef channel."
By the time Mr Nel returned, much of the surf camp he had been staying at had been destroyed.
"A lot of my stuff got washed out to sea and I found one of my surfboards in the jungle."
He left Samoa on Thursday, flying back to Wellington wearing a pair of jeans he had found in the jungle.