Relief as Haverhill family escapes Tunisia beach massacre

There was relief as a Haverhill family returned safely from Tunisia in the wake of the terrorist attack.

Stewart Nunn, 29, his wife Lauren, 28, and their daughters Matilda, four, and Delilah, 18 months, had been on holiday in the town of Hammamet.

They were just up the coast from Sousse where, on Friday, gunman Seiffeddine Rezgui, killed 38 people in a gun and grenade attack.

“We had never thought Tunisia would be dangerous,” said Mr Nunn.

“We were advised that security was at a high level and that there wasn’t anything to worry about.

“With two young children we were terrified. We didn’t know how safe we would be.”

The Nunns cut their holiday short by four days to return to the UK on Monday (June 29).

Their plane touched down in Manchester at midnight and, by 5am, they were back in Haverhill.

“There were people who had been at the resort in Sousse where it happened,” said Mr Nunn. “They had heard the gunshots.”

The attacker, who may have had an accomplice, is thought to have landed on the beach on a jet ski before carrying out the attack with a machine gun.

“We were just along the coast,” said Mr Nunn. “We thank our lucky stars we weren’t caught up in it. Some people weren’t so lucky.”

Mr Nunn heard what had happened at the neighbouring resort when his brother got in touch from the UK to make sure he was okay.

“We had only been there half a day,” said Mr Nunn. “I had a text from my brother asking if I was okay.

“I got in touch with him and he was very upset. I looked at Sky news and saw what had happened. It was very close to us. I went back and told Lauren. We didn’t know if we were safe. We were told that the gunmen were still alive and on the loose.

“We went back to our room. Our holiday rep asked us not to go anywhere and to stay inside. Everywhere was in lockdown.

“There was a red flag on the beach to alert people not to go out there. We had so many voicemails and worried texts from people wondering how we were.

“We’ve tried to keep the news away from the children as much as possible. It’s not pleasant. Matilda’s a bit older and kind of knows something’s going on, but we’ve tried to make sure they don’t take much in.”

Mrs Nunn’s mother spoke of her relief that the family had returned safely.

“They were 40 minutes away from attack,” she said. “With two small kids, they were terrified. But they are luckier than a lot of others who will not come home.”

Many Britons were killed in the attack, including Stuart Cullen, 52, from the Lowestoft area.

Mr Cullen had been on holiday with his wife, who was injured in the incident but has been able to return home to Suffolk where she is being comforted by close family and Suffolk Police family liaison officers.

Mr Nunn praised the airlines and travel agents, Thomson and First Choice, for their swift response and efforts to get concerned holiday makers home.

He also thanked relatives for being organised and for supporting the family.