Richmond Dixon was studying yoga and touring India when the tsunami hit. Richmond was touring a religious complex on the coast of India when his companions heard water rushing. For the next few minutes, confusion reigned.
"Water was coming also right at me, and so then I turned to the right and it looked like smooth sailing for a little while and then water started coming from behind the corner there, so then it was inevitable that we were up to our knees and almost to our waists in water," he says.
As many as 3,000 people in the complex all dashed for safety heading for the roofs of nearby buildings, and for the next three hours all Dixon and his companions could do was watch in horror.
"I saw men carrying bodies and there was no way for me to know whether they were dead or alive or whether they were just unconscious."
It wasn’t until boats arrived to ferry people to safety that the tension eased and a sigh of relief came over the massage therapist.
Richmond adds, "I felt lucky not only to be alive when I was there, but to be experiencing a devastating natural disaster."
Now, Dixon’s brush with tragedy has made him a hometown celebrity. He arrived back in the states on the 29th of December and says he is still sorting out his feelings of helplessness and even some guilt about not being able to stay and help those who needed more than he could give.