Mansfield man trapped after surviving Hurricane Irma

A Mansfield man has told his family he is alive after surviving hurricane Irma and spending two days in a car park with no food or water.

Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 1:15 pm

Stephen Wiffen, 55, of Poplar Grove, Forest Town, was in the Caribbean selling time shares when the hurricane hit last Wednesday (September 6).

His sister Clare Dobb, 45, of Woodland Drive, Mansfield sent out an desperate appeal on social media as no one had heard from him since the weekend before the hurricane hit.

She said: “Once it had hit we heard nothing, there was no contact what so ever.

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“At first I thought he would be OK, communications would be down for a little bit but then he would be in contact. Then I got more and more worried, with all the pictures coming out of the disaster, the family really started to get worried.”

Stephen was on the island of Saint Martin when the storm hit.

The island is reported to be 95 per cent destroyed after it was battered by 185mph winds.

Stephen managed to contact his family via WhatsApp yesterday (Tuesday, September 12), after they had not heard from him in over a week.

Clare said: “He has been evacuated to Panama after spending two days in the airport car park having had no food or water. No idea how he is getting back home from Panama at this stage, but he is safe.

“British Government need to pull their finger out and sort this for all Brits stranded.

“I don’t know if he has money or what documents he has, I don’t know if his phone is working.”

Clare has now said how she feels the Foreign Office have let them down, she said: “They have let us down, I rang them begging for information, they couldn’t give us any, we didn’t know of any plans only that the Navy had landed to give relief. They need to be fetching the Brits and bringing them home.

“The foreign office should of contacted me to tell him how he is and where he was being sent to.

“The families of the Brits have been let down, Americans and Canadians have been evacuated, but the Brits have been left behind.”

We are waiting on a comment from the Foreign Office.