News Guardian – January 20, 2005
A FUNERAL director is in Thailand helping in the aftermath of the devastating Boxing Day tsunami.
Jonathan Ryland, a fully qualified, embalmer travelled to the region last weekend to help prepare and embalm victims.
The 37-year-old helps run Cullercoats based R J Ryland Funeral Services with his parents, Edward and Brenda Ryland.
“He got a call on Friday asking if he was willing to travel to Thailand to help out,” said Edward. “He was on the plane by 9pm on Saturday so he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it.
“As you can imagine, communication with him is very difficult so we can only guess at what he will be doing.”
Jonathan is part of a rotation distress team with people chosen from Australia, the United States and Britain and will be in Thailand for three weeks before coming home.
He will then be replaced by others to continue the work.
As part of the task he signed a confidentiality agreement to prevent families hearing full details of the work carried out on their loved ones.
He also needed a cholera jab to prevent the spread of disease.
“We know it is a difficult job but this is his job and what he is trained for,” added his father.