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January 21, 2022

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Disabled survivor dubbed ‘Aquaman’ after epic swim

A 57-year-old Tongan man who said he swam around 27 hours after getting swept out to sea during Saturday’s tsunami has been hailed a “real life Aquaman.”

Lisala Folau, who lived on the small, isolated island of Atata with a population of about 60, was swept out to sea when the waves hit, he said in a radio interview.

Folau said he was painting his home when he was alerted about the tsunami by his brother, and soon the waves had gone through his lounge.

He climbed on a tree to escape but when he got down another big wave swept him away. The 57-year-old said he is disabled and cannot walk properly.

“I just floated, bashed around by the big waves that kept coming,” he said. He slowly managed to swim to the main island of Tongatapu, 7.5 kilometers away.


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