Former Aylesbury Grammar School boy caught up in devastating Fiji hurricane while on gap year

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A former Aylesbury Grammar School boy has been caught up in the Fijian hurricane.

George Burke, aged 19, has been working as a volunteer on the island of Koro as part of a gap year experience.

He has been taken to the island to teach youngsters geography and sport as part of expedition run by Think Pacific. But disaster struck on Saturday, when Hurricane Winston diverted in the direction of the island, which was only expecting strong winds.

The locals, and volunteers had to run for their lives as the hurricane razed their village to the ground.

They also had to fend off water from a tsunami which was caused by the winds.

George who has no medical training, also offered support to injured locals, at one stage being handed a bleeding baby.

His mum Elizabeth, said: “On Friday night last week they were expecting severe winds.

“But on Saturday morning the hurricane changed direction and the islanders had an hour’s warning that a category five storm was heading their way.

“In the aftermath the young volunteers found themselves faced with injured adults and children, they had to administer first aid with almost no medical supplies and no medical training.”

Think Pacific has now taken the volunteers off the island, where they are holed up in a hotel on the neighbouring island of Nadi.

But his mum said that George, whose next stop on his round the world trip is Los Angeles, has lost all of his belongings aside from his iPad, camera and mobile phone.

More to follow.