A FURIOUS Weymouth mother has demanded an apology from her holiday company after her daughter fell ill on a 48-hour coach journey from southern Spain to France.

Angela Smart and her daughter Courtney, eight, had to return to Britain on coaches and a ferry after flights were grounded during the volcanic ash crisis.

Mrs Smart said holiday company Thomson failed to provide her and her daughter with water during their two-day coach journey from Fuengirola to Calais.

Little Courtney became dehydrated and fell ill during the trip.

Mrs Smart, of Tollerdown Road, said their Thomson guide refused to provide them with water on the journey despite having a litre bottle of his own.

She said there was some relief when they stopped for a nine-hour break in a hotel on the way to Calais.

Mrs Smart said: “It was just awful.

“Courtney had the shakes really badly and was physically sick.

“Our rep had a litre bottle of water but he wouldn't give any of it to her.

“He did, however, roll the bottle on her head to try to cool her down, which seemed worse in a way.

“At the end of the journey he had the cheek to say he was really pleased with how well we had all done getting back.”

Mrs Smart and her daughter were stuck at the Fuengirola Beach apartments for three days before they got just 30 minutes’ warning that a coach would be leaving for Calais with or without them.

Mrs Smart said: “I had to pack in such a rush in the end that I left a portable DVD player in our room and some towels.

“I must have left around £180 worth of stuff behind just because we had to pack in such a hurry.”

A Thomson spokesman said all of its staff have worked very hard to repatriate stranded customers.

He added: “We are sorry Mrs Smart and her daughter have been affected by the disruption and are sad to hear they were unhappy with the communication, coach conditions and lack of refreshments during their journey.

“While we appreciate this was a very distressing time for Mrs Smart and her daughter, we hope they’ll understand that this fast moving, unprecedented situation, meant decisions regarding the repatriation of our customers had to be made very quickly.

“We tried to give our customers as much notice as possible, but getting 70,000 customers back to the UK is a challenge.

“The scale of the repatriation did mean specific details for the journey from Spain to Northern France could not be communicated with individual representatives on board coaches to relay to customers.

“Unfortunately, time constraints meant that refreshments could not be organised before departure, and therefore all customers were advised before boarding the coach to bring their own drinks and snacks as it would be a long journey.

“We would like to apologise for the disruption caused to Mrs Smart and her daughter's holiday and thank them for their patience during this difficult time.

“We hope they know that our number one priority has always been getting our customers home safely.”