Firefighters return from Japan

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A SOUTH Ribble firefighter has spoken at the ‘utter devastation’ he encountered whilst searching through the wreckage of the Japanese tsunami.

Mark Noblet, 46, was part of the team of 60 search and rescue experts which has spent a week away searching through the wreckage of the coastal towns of Ofunato and Kamaisha which were torn apart by the killer waves.

The crew of six firefighters from Lancashire - including Jim Davison and Darren Kyle, who are based at the service’s Urban Search and Rescue Team in Leyland, waded through stinking mud washed up by the 23-metre high waves which in search of survivors of the disaster which struck just a fortnight ago.

The father-of-two, a watch manager at Bamber Bridge fire station, flew into the UK on Saturday night, seven days after they left on a mercy mission.

He said: “It was completely surreal. You got a sense of the power of the waves because the houses were just ripped apart.

“People had obviously got some warning but there were cars all over the place, many of which had bodies in them, where people had been swept along by the waves.

“In many cases, people were miles away from where they lived and we had to search through them to find out who they were.

“You can only imagine what they had gone through.”

The teams were unable to find any survivors as temperatures plummeted to minus five degrees Celsius at night.