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Updated: 2005-12-31 09:31

British "Angel of the Beach" named Child of the Year

海啸中拯救百余人 小天使当选年度风云儿童

Tilly Smith, 10, of Britain, who is credited with saving 100 lives by alerting people of coming waves during the 2004 tsunami smiles during the first anniversary of the Asian disaster in Phuket, southern Thailand.

Tilly Smith, the 11-year-old British girl, who was called as "Angel of the Beach", saved 100 tourists from a Thai beach hit by last year's tsunami and has been named Child of the Year by readers of a French children's newspaper.

She came ahead of a South African Aids orphan, a six-year-old girl who survived a kidnapping by paedophiles and a young Parisian pop singer to win the Mon Quotidien award.

Tilly had studied tsunamis with her geography teacher, Andrew Kearney, shortly before flying to Thailand for a holiday with her parents and younger sister last year.

As she watched the waves suddenly begin to recede, and the sea was bubbling,she warned her mother, Penny, that the beach was about to be struck by a tsunami. Mrs Smith and her husband, Colin, alerted other holidaymakers and hotel staff and scores of people were cleared from Maikhao beach at Phuket.

Tilly, now 11, and back in Thailand for anniversary commemorations of the disaster, said: "It's really good, just to know about tsunamis or any natural hazard in case you are in one.

"I'm very glad that I was able to say on the beach that a tsunami was coming. And I'm glad that they listened to me."

She had earlier said that the state of the sea, which was "sizzling and bubbling" was "exactly the same as in my geography lesson".

Tilly read a Thai poem entitled Tsunami at a candle-lightvigilto commemorate victims of the disaster.

She is unaware of her remarkable popularity among French children. Her picture appears on the front page of Mon Quotidien, which is read by 10 to 14-year-olds.

"Our readers chose Tilly because they could identify with her," said Fran?ois Dufour, the editor-in-chief. "To be a pop star at 11 seems impossible, and the idea of having Aids or being kidnapped is remote from their lives."



















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