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Petra Němcová remembers tsunami victim fiancé Simon Atlee ten years on

December 27, 2014
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Petra Němcová returned to Thailand on 26 December to mark the 10th anniversary of the tsunami that killed her photographer fiancé Simon Atlee. The 35-year-old model and philanthropist visited the beach at Khao Lak to remember Simon and the other victims of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, which is believed to have claimed the lives of 228,000 to 230,000 people.

"So many gathered from all over the world & lit candles to commemorate #2004Tsunami," tweeted Petra, with a photo of herself carrying a candle.

 "Join us & #Light4Tsunami 2 please."

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The event was an emotional one for Czech Republic-born Petra, who, as well as losing Simon to the tsunami suffered a number of internal injuries and a broke her pelvis.

Stranded, Petra was forced to hold onto a palm tree for eight hours until Thai locals helped to rescue her.

Petra and Simon were on the last day of their holiday in the Thai resort on Boxing Day 2004 when the ten-metre high tsunami wave hit the bungalow they were staying in.


The couple were immediately separated in the water and Simon later drowned. His body was found a few months later. Petra's mental attitude helped get her through the devastating situation. "I always try to direct any negative or sad energy into bringing something positive," said Petra, who set up the Happy Hearts Fund in 2006, a charity that builds schools in areas that have been affected by natural disasters.

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