A BRITISH holidaymaker was swept out to sea by powerful waves and killed as his wife watched on in horror.
Andy Critchett, 49, was splashing in the surf on a paradise beach in Sri Lanka when he was pulled under the water and dragged out to sea.
His wife Lesley, 53, had to watch helplessly from the beach in Sri Lanka where the couple were on holiday.
Heartbroken Lesley said: “I saw it all happen, it was horrific.
“Tommy our friend was in the sea with him and tried to save him but the current was too strong.
“I was held back. They wouldn’t let me get to Andy. It was about 30 minutes before they could get him to shore.
“People on the beach tried to revive him but there was no life-saving equipment, there wasn’t anything. It was terrible.”
Andy, a Halfords store manager, was taken to hospital after the beach tragedy but later pronounced dead.
Hairdresser Lesley, of Rhos on Sea, said: “It was a horrendous situation, I was obviously crying and distressed and the hospital staff asked Tommy’s wife Joanne, who was with me, to ask me to be quiet.”
Lesley said the couple had been married for 23 years and together for 26 and were planning a holiday to New York to celebrate Andy’s 50th birthday in the new year.
The couple had been on the island for just over a week when the tragedy happened.
She said: “We had so much planned and in Sri Lanka we were having a wonderful time until last Thursday.
“He was taken from me in the most horrific circumstances imaginable.
“He was my best friend, my life and my world. I will never get over it.
“Andy and I had 26 wonderful years together, we were so very happy, and I will carry that with me always.
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“Andy was the best husband, best father, stepfather and grandpa you could ask for.
“He would help anyone and was so loved. As a family we have received hundreds of messages since the news of his death.”
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ” We are in contact with the authorities in Sri Lanka following the death of a British man, as well as the tour operator that is supporting his family.”
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