|The latest outrageous incident in the life of Geoff Mackley, aka Rambocam, and long time Miller tripod abuser and devotee, occurred while filming at Mt Etna, Italy “While I was filming on top of an active lava flow the ground underneath me became so hot that the bottom of the tripod and my boots melted in the intense heat. ...I retreated to a safer area...the previous weeks before I had been chasing storms through Central America.”|
|That’s where we pick up Geoff’s latest adventure, in Villa Hidalgo, as Hurricane Kenna roared ashore in southern Mexico morning hours. “Nothing much was happening, I had the camera turned off when all of a sudden all hell broke loose, the winds increased tremendously and debris started to fall everywhere, I no sooner had started rolling when part of a roof hit a passing car and more roof tiles hit my own car which I then drove up onto the footpath hard against the building, things were rapidly becoming life threatening,” “I moved the camera and tripod hard up against the wall, put on a hard hat and opened the windows on the car so I could get in and leave without going onto the street. What happened next was amazing, small bits of masonry and other debris started falling continuously, then with out warning a huge cascade of debris completely blocked out my view, everything went dark, when the dust cleared, I didn’t have a mark on me, the camera was still running and apart from being completely covered in dust and debris, I was completely uninjured.”|
“Driving out of the danger was not easy, the power cables were to strong too break and had jammed under the car, I had to ram the car back and forward to loosen them and then reversed off them, basically moving from one area of extreme danger to another, I reversed blindly up the street in winds approaching 300 kph, the air was completely full of flying debris, things continuously hit the car. “I reversed up behind a big truck, abandoned in the street, and that gave good cover from the debris although the truck soon rammed my car from behind as it started to move backward, I had to keep my foot on the brake to stop it. I watched one car with no one in it move off down the street and hit a building, the power of the wind was amazing, it was too dangerous to even think of getting out of the car with the anemometer to measure the wind speed, there was so much debris."
“When it was over several people were dead, killed by falling masonry, and the whole town was wrecked, every street was blocked, there was no power or phones, and dead dogs and other animals were lying in the streets. Making my way back to the Ruiz Hotel to collect the rest of my gear, I found my room flooded out but my usual practise of sealing up my excess gear and putting it up somewhere high worked. The bed was still dry so I stayed there overnight eventually finding a better room, everyone had evacuated except the housekeeper who just let me try and find a dry room myself. The next day I returned to Mazatlan and returned the slightly worse for wear car to the rental company who didn’t seem too bothered as I had full insurance - another successful day in the office.”