A HINTERLAND health retreat and rehab facility operator is urging people to embrace life after being caught up in the harrowing Hawaiian fake missile threat.
Francis McLachlan, his wife Carol and their 18-year-old son were in Waikiki Beach on the morning the message arrived telling them their fates were sealed.
Mr McLachlan said it was just after 8am on January 13 at the picturesque destination when his wife’s phone beeped with an amber alert giving emergency advice a ballistic missile strike was imminent.
A few moments later the hotel screens read that a missile impact was just minutes away and that it was “not a drill”.
“We go to a ground level part of a beachfront hotel and find a stairwell below ground, waiting for a ballistic missile to strike,” Mr McLachlan recalled.
He recounted the emotional goodbyes they said between them as he awaited the missile’s impact and the “horrific death for my beautiful wife and 18-year-old son”.
Within 10 minutes they received the all clear, the alert had been an error and there was no missile threat, but Mr McLachlan said the damage had been done.
He said he tried to comfort everyone he came
Weasa family live in a scary world, what time we have let’s make it special for ourselves and our family. — Francis McLachlan
in contact with, including the elderly, and the relief when the all clear came had been enormous.
But when they went to go out to eat the area was deserted, as guests walked around in shock.
“We go to eat and there are no people, no guests, no staff. The staff have gone home to be with their families, to be with them as a family as an imminent missile alert was current, not a drill,” he said.
“To everyone in Honolulu, that warning, ballistic missile, they believed they would die,” Mr McLachlan said.
The owner of The Health Retreat at Maleny urged everyone to “enjoy life” to sort out depression, anxiety and self-medication issues and embrace life every day.
“We as a family live in a scary world, what time we have let’s make it special for ourselves and our family,” he said.
Mr McLachlan had been in Hawaii on a break in between meeting with a group of Canadians exploring options to open another Health Retreat in Canada to combat the rise of Fentanyl, which he said was cheaper and more powerful than heroin and killing “thousands per year” in Canada and the US.