Jake’s long & winding road – Lens Artist’s Challenge #100

I’ve chosen a slightly different direction for this challenge and thought I would share with you local boy Jake Millbank’s long and winding road that is recovery from burns he received in the Whakaari/White Island eruption on 9th December last year. (See my post on the tragedy here. As I feared the news did get much worse. 21 people lost their lives as a result of the eruption and 26 others suffered terrible injuries.)

Some days, just the smoke from Whakaari/White Island is visible above the waves.

19 year old Jake was a guide on the island on that day. He suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body and is lucky to be alive. This link takes you to an interview he did in May that shows it hasn’t been just luck, but spirit and character that have pulled him through. What a remarkable young man he is, his courage is an inspiration.

Surfers at West End, Ohope never forget the island is over their shoulders.

Tours haven’t resumed to the island and the plume of smoke, steam and ash on the horizon are a  constant reminder of the tragedy. Our thoughts are often with the families who lost their loved ones and the injured like Jake, who are still recovering.







  1. Wow Wendy. This left me rather breathless. I found the video really compelling – what an amazing young man and what an incredibly difficult road he and his family have traveled. Long and winding indeed. Thanks so much for thinking to share this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a lovely response to the challenge Wendy. Thanks for the link; I think often about the Whakaari tragedy and how it has been almost forgotten in the pandemic and recession that have since happened.

    Liked by 1 person

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