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Seconds after this image was taken the man in the picture was pulled out of the water from a balcony.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II
1/400s f/7.1 at 70.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large auto
Shannon 14-Jan-2005 14:36
I'm sure thankful to be alive! Life is but as a mist, appearing one day and dissapearing suddenly. Live each day as if it were your last, for you do not know when death will approach, but when it does, we better be ready.
Oliver 10-Jan-2005 01:15
I saw in our local paper on Sunday that the young man (who is a waiter at the hotel) did survive. He is now with his family in a town not far from Bangkok. He is hoping to return to Phuket to help rebuild.

I noticed some critism about Helmut in the discussion. Without people like Helmut recording our human history or even herstory, we wouldn't be aware of the devastation that occurred. Not only not aware of the devastation but also the human stories of survival and bravery. You have to admit that amongst all the death and tragedy, the pictures, the discussion and then the realisation of this young man's survival has warmed our hearts. Stories and pictures such as Helmut's launched the world into action, with millions of dollars being donated by ordinary caring people. Governments have been pressed into action because of these photos. Helmut didn't create the Tsunami, he recorded it and told the world in a short amount of time.

Danke Helmut.
Laura 09-Jan-2005 15:58
OMG all those pictures. I think it's so sad for all the people in Asia. I had to make a lecture-engagement for my school about tsunami's so I learned a lot.
But still, that one wave can kill so many people and destroy so much things I would never have thought
Laura 07-Jan-2005 18:16
OMG it's really shocking...
I saw one other pic on the Czech internet that was also to hard to be true..

anyway.. How should helmut have rescued the life of that guy in the water?
I also wouldn't know what to do..
ugaitz13 02-Jan-2005 13:23
I am 13 years old spanish boy,and really i have to say about that photos are "horrible"the guy who have the camera take photos and the other boy is in the water...i know that my english is not the best but i think that you can undertsnad.So if any have family there,i´m really sorry!If any want can add me at ""or send a e-mail. :(
Flashman 02-Jan-2005 12:20
Gee, I can see exactly why Helmut didn't help out. Massive churning water everywhere, wiping everything out – it's very easy to say that you'd have done something different, isn't it? Sitting there in front of your computers, you armchair heroes.

What greater good would have been served by Helmut drowning himself while trying to save this guy?
Nguyen Khang 02-Jan-2005 09:53
I hope this guy alive. Any news from him?
lima from bangladesh 01-Jan-2005 15:36
why hellmut was taking this picture he could have saved his life
mumu 01-Jan-2005 15:26
i am is very sad.
Guest 01-Jan-2005 05:05
Yah yah take it easy Abigail! When you search for photos on pbase, if you don't know already, it points to a picture and you click on it, you don't read the first picture in the gallery usually. And with such a powerful force of nature, you just assume the man died. But yey! He didn't! Sadly though, the news reports that over 150000 other people did lose their lives.
Brian Rosenbloom31-Dec-2004 19:52
what could Helmut have done?
Guest 31-Dec-2004 19:49
I don't know what the big deal is about these pictures. Upwards of 100,000 people went through the same ordeal as the fellow in the picture. Ultimately the sad fact is that Helmut (the photographer)chose to shoot the picture instead of extending some type of help. Deep down inside Helmut chose "a good photo op" instead of "saving a life". There is no skill in taking the picture, other than being able to hold the camera still while someone is possibly dying before your eyes, the camera is expensive. It doesn't matter that he was "plucked out of the ravaging water" that was due to someone elses consideration. Good thing that Hero didn't also have an expensive camera with him.
Abigail 31-Dec-2004 18:47
Again, I say, ON THIS SITE, it says that this guy was rescued by someone on a balcony below the photographer just a few seconds after pic 479 was taken.
Whoever would joke about this deserves to be shot, or better yet, to have the ground open up and swallow them when they least expect it, as the ocean did to the hundreds of thousands of deceased as a result of Sunday's tsunami. Thank God for photogs who keep their cameras (and wits) with them at all times who manage to capture horrific and historical events when they happen in a blink of an eye.
danny 31-Dec-2004 09:55
all u people who said it looks fun mussent have a heart...... i knew two people who have been killed over there and one is still missing and u dont know how it feals...........
Thai people 31-Dec-2004 04:23
I don't understand with water from my eye..It's can't stop....Don't cry THAILND..
guy 31-Dec-2004 02:57
If you guys read the newpaper you would know he does survive.
the fly 30-Dec-2004 21:12
no comments...
Kathy 30-Dec-2004 19:39
That is so sad! The man is alive in this photo and his last moment in life is captured. Really really sad. What a world. :(
DeNise 30-Dec-2004 18:34
For nexxus... this indeed is a tragedy. Horrible loss and devistation. Heartbreaking for those that weren't even involved directly. My heart goes out to those that lost loved ones. This picure is phenominal, I have yet to see one that compares... by the way, nexxus, I AM A REPUBLICAN and if you ever throw that line back in my face, you will prove to us that YOU are the idiot. This is not a political agenda, this tsunami affected the whole world. Not just your little corner of it.
Sam 30-Dec-2004 08:57
Its too bad the wave wasnt 100 ft tall caused by a metorite as the world really needs a kick in the ass
Guest 30-Dec-2004 07:39
Mitch and schmuck ....... F*** both of you!!
Guest 30-Dec-2004 02:08
FYI...I saw these photos on Fox News yesterday along with the story: This guy's body was found about a mile inland.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be
fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul
weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can
discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"
(Matt. 16:2-3)
Guest 29-Dec-2004 23:42
"never read such stupid commentaries before"

Welcome to the Internet.
schmuck 29-Dec-2004 21:20
this guys is totally cool ... he's just body surfing ass first, and probably thinking, geeze! What a rush!
Willy 29-Dec-2004 18:03
Hellmuth warum hast Du diesem armen Mann nicht geholfen?
Scheiß auf Deine tolle Kamera.
Du sollest Dich schämen so etwas zu veröffentlichen.
Am Ende willst du damit auch noch Geld verdienen.

Guest 29-Dec-2004 17:04
You people disgust me beyond anything. You are truly inhumane. You must be Republicans.
Guest 29-Dec-2004 16:11
I never read such stupid commentaries before. I hope this guy is alive. More than 70,000 people died because of that and there are still some idiots that take their time to write such things.
Oliver Knoll 29-Dec-2004 11:53
"From: Mitch Date: 29-Dec-2004 05:43

I've taken sponge baths that are rougher than what this guy is going through. It actually looks fun. "

Mitch!! You're a REAL ASSHOLE! You are the asshole of this world! You should be hit on your head real hard!!!
Mitch 29-Dec-2004 05:43
I've taken sponge baths that are rougher than what this guy is going through. It actually looks fun.
kate 29-Dec-2004 03:07
this image is amazing. when my browser loaded it, it was loaded in the largest possible frame, and i was able to see minute details: water drops, swirls and eddys...

i was shocked to see the man floating along when i was scrolling up/down/left/right.

amazing amazing picture.
Guest 29-Dec-2004 01:45
Did the sydney newspaper pay helmut for the pic or did they just leech it? anyway, the guy in the pic is kinda cute don't you think?
Pat 28-Dec-2004 17:31
he gawn
Mark N 28-Dec-2004 10:35
This image ran on front of both major Sydney newspapers today. That's a rare event. The Sydney Morning Herald ran it full page bleed ( which is also very rare), with just a headline " wave of devistation". Glad to hear the Thai gentleman in the imaged survived.
Guest 28-Dec-2004 06:03
he looks screwed...
Guest 28-Dec-2004 06:03
he looks screwed...
heather 27-Dec-2004 23:46
he looks frozen dead. is he? :(
Guest 27-Dec-2004 23:18
he screwed.
Elizabeth 27-Dec-2004 19:00
he may have made it if he found something to hold onto.