Widow had to watch helplessly as husband was swept out to sea in Sri Lanka

Heartbreak – Lesley Critchley had to watch helplessly as husband Andy was swept out to sea in Sri Lanka (Picture: Wales News Service)

A heartbroken holidaymaker has told how she watched helplessly as her husband was swept out to sea and killed by powerful waves in Sri Lanka.

Andy Critchett, 49, died on October 11 while swimming in Sri Lanka on holiday with his wife Lesley and their friends.

Lesley, 53, from Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy, North Wales, said: “I saw it all happen, it was horrific. Tommy our friend was in the sea with him and tried to save him but the current was too strong.

Paradise – the couple were holidaying with friends in Sri Lanka when tragedy struck (Picture: Getty)

She said: “I was held back. They wouldn’t let me get to Andy. It was about 30 minutes before they could get him to shore.

“People on the beach tried to revive him but there was no life-saving equipment, there wasn’t anything. It was terrible.”

MORE: Watch: Motorbike passenger wearing a BIKINI suffers nasty burns after skidding off bike
MORE: Son sues over death of mum who died while trapped in holiday home airing cupboard

Andy, who was a store manager at Halfords, was taken to a local hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Lesley, his wife of 23 years, said the couple had been on the island for just over a week when the tragedy happened. They were also planning a holiday to New York to celebrate Andy’s 50th birthday in the new year.

Happy couple – Andy and Lesley had been married for 23 years (Picture: Wales News Service)
Messages – Lesley said the family had received hundreds of messages since Andy’s death (Picture: Wales News Service)

She added: “He was my best friend, my life and my world. I will never get over it. Andy and I had 26 wonderful years together, we were so very happy, and I will carry that with me always.

“Andy was the best husband, best father, stepfather and grandpa you could ask for. He would help anyone and was so loved. As a family we have received hundreds of messages since the news of his death.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ” We are in contact with the authorities in Sri Lanka following the death of a British man, as well as the tour operator that is supporting his family.”