How the Wakari NetFlix Documentary Could Be Better?

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the nerd universe. I am back with a follow-up!

WHat Should Have the White Island NetFlix Documentary Should Have Talked About

I know I reviewed the new documentary, The Volcano: Rescue from Wakari but I felt there were some things that were missing and have talked about it in the review. As I was about to hit the pillow for a nice night of sleep, I did realize the documentary missed some things. I know I haven’t picked it up a bit during the review but there is more to talk about. But first!


This post is based on the thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog, please respect her thoughts and opinions and the points she is bringing up. You have been warned!

The Cruise Trip

Even though the Yuris mentioned it briefly, the documentary didn’t talk about the trip to the island as part of a selection of trips. Matt and Laura, sorry everyone I got his name mixed up with one of the survivors, talked about how they chose excursions throughout the trip and it was Matt’s choice. Excursions are basically adventures that are done at the locations you visit. I mentioned in the original review how I went to the Mayan ruins in Belize in Central America and it was done through Carnival. The documentary should have mentioned it was with Royal Caribbean and talked about the ship heading there.

THe Danger Levels

The videos I saw about this disaster on YouTube mentioned something that the documentary hadn’t and that there were danger levels placed. This could have been mentioned due to how there was a history of eruptions, especially in 2016 and yet people visited this island with how active it has been for many years. After 2016, the island was placed on Level 2 where it was close to erupting. I think Blair from Illuminati put it best, “Oh! You’re visiting today! I will be over here just being quiet!” I think most islands would warn cruise companies and pass it onto the passengers to make that decision, which was a controversial part of this trip. What was interesting was in the 60 Minutes episode that the passengers were only given brief information and a safety check before going onto the island. It would be important to pass that info along.

History of the Island and Its Formation

I should have mentioned this before the last point but I think it would be great to fit it with after danger levels. Blair and Mile Higher talked about the island’s formation and how the volcano came to be. This would be important for the documentary to talk about how the volcanic materials formed this island and the acid lake at the crater, which is the main part of the tour where people went to for the view. It would also have been important to mention the history, such as the sulfur factory and its collapse in the 1930s and then the eruptions afterward. Also, about how the ground was so fragile since someone had their foot go through the ground. 

The Passengers on the Cruise and Tours

One thing is that the documentary only focused on the Yuris, Kelsey who was one of the tour guides, and Jesse. One passenger on the Phoenix was also focused but there were more passengers of the cruise and the Phoenix who were on this trip. One of them happened to be a man who had recorded the trip as a vlog and most of the footage that had been used in the YouTube specials should have been in it talking about his experience with his wife. Another is of course Stephanie Browet who went through her ordeal being burned but the first video of the eruption on the phone was due to her sister, Crystal. Also, if he was still alive for this, John Cozad should also have been in this documentary or even the other person that was on the helicopter with Stephanie, Lisa, who came with her husband and her daughter, Zoey, which you hear their names in the credits. Still, more people who went through the eruption should have been in this, if they didn’t want to then I would understand that easily. At least who talked about what they went through was brave of them to do.

The Aftermath

Even though when people talked about returning to Fakhri which is the island next door, more things about the events that unfold after the eruption such as how the island looks now since of course someone new would be learning about this island before and after. I should have mentioned in the history part that someone may have not been able to learn about this through the internet and may have stumbled upon this through NetFlix if they had it on their tablet. Volcanoes usually change after an eruption such as Krakatoa collapsing on itself and Mount St. Helens having a new bulge after its eruption. It is closed to this day and could have talked about what families reacted not knowing what had happened while being on the cruise ship, which people would have been worried and Stephanie’s mother should have been in the documentary talking about her experience and any other passengers that may wanted to go on the excursion and knew the passengers may talk about their reaction to any news reports they may have found on their phones. Things could have been talked about in this section.

More About the Coast Guard’s Decision

During the events of the eruption, there was a decision where they reported about not going on the island because it was safe. I agree with the Yuris that they are supposed to rescue people in the first place since that is their job. People believed that if there were more helicopters, especially doing it early enough, more people would have been alive. I would not blame anyone for being angry about not being rescued in time and losing more people. Heck, they would have been able to get the bodies early enough, if you remembered that two bodies did wash away while they were retrieving them almost a week after the eruption. I understand that rescuers were risking their lives but I am agreeing with Chanel in Mile Higher that firefighters go in with protective gear and the pilots should have had better equipment and gear to protect themselves. During the documentary, the pilots talked about how they took their own First Aid Kits and gas masks to people to keep them breathing since ash did block airways.  Still, more could have been done and the decision should have been talked more about.

The Lawsuit

Apparently, there is a lawsuit taking place between Royal Caribbean and the tourists because of the safety guidelines and it was believed that passengers should have thought about going beforehand. Here is the problem though, they were only told to wear closed toe shoes, were handed gas masks and hard hats, and people in wheelchairs were discouraged to go. Royal Caribbean are being sued for not being handed the right safety guidelines and I can see that can be grounds for suing since if it was my family I would have sued as well. I hope the victims win this since so many of them have life threatening injuries and big scars. Stephanie even lost her fingers , well most of them, due to how much she got burned. Like I said in my original review, earlier this year she took off the compression mask she had on. Matt Yuri even talked about how he can’t move his ring finger on his dominant hand, Laura Yuri talked about how she lost her wedding ring even since her hand was burned so badly and begged to keep it. Like I said, lost so much due to injury and hoping they win this because of how they were not informed enough nor protected. I am glad that the island is closed off because more people could get hurt. 

I think those are good enough points to talk about. This documentary felt short and should have more than one episode to talk about these points. Yes, it’s about rescuing people but it’s important to know about most parts leading up to the rescue that the specials I’ve seen on YouTube pinpointed but the documentary hadn’t. Like I said above, I think someone new to this subject would get more of the glimpses of the event and how the rescue happened but not enough info. I was glad to see it on YouTube when I had since I didn’t know until the end of 2020 so it was fresh back then. I do wonder about any of the other victims and how they are doing to this day, which happened to be Lisa and John would be great to see updates on them.

Well, that’s it, man it was a lot of things to write about. Like I said, Wakari has been closed since this eruption and seeing that something like that can take place could hurt so many. I have watched volcano documentaries talking about how people go through eruptions in Hawaii, Indonesia, and other parts of the world. There are still warning signs about Yellowstone erupting soon since signs have been happening since the start of this year. 

Next up would be the Bests & Worsts!

The Review Quadrant: The Volcano: Rescue from Wikari Documentary

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! I am back with another review!

The Volcano: Rescue From Wikari Review

I normally don’t review documentaries, I almost reviewed the Woodstock one from this year but this one is a good change, but first!


This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinions since this is her first documentary review!

Topic of Documentary

This documentary tells what happened on December 9, 2019 when a group of tourists toured the island known as Wikari or White Island located in the Bay of Plenty close to New Zealand. This tour was a part of a cruise that was through Royal Caribbean but what people were not expecting is surviving an eruption that took place on that day. This documentary is told by survivors including Linda and Brian Yuri, who were on their honeymoon during the cruise, Jesse Langford who lost his sister and parents, and first hand accounts of the rescue crews that have saved the ones who are alive to this day.


I was surprised that I found a trailer for this earlier today at work when I was trying to see about volcano movies I haven’t seen yet and that NetFlix had done the documentary. I have enjoyed a few documentaries by them, which included Train Wrecked: Woodstock 99. I almost reviewed it since I remembered that event and Peter Monne talked about it but it was hard to write it. I think this would be easier because it is a subject I enjoy.

For a few years, I enjoy disasters that have taken place in history from Chernobyl in Ukraine to the Station NightClub fire in West Rowryk, Rhode Island, this disaster has been one of my other favorites because of what people have endured at that time and never thought I would see and learn. While teaching remotely and being at U. Mass, I decided to watch some volcano documentaries one day during a cool down period and saw something called “Trapped in the Volcano” and watched it. It was about the White Island eruption and how people were trapped inside of it. I did watch the 60 Seconds Australia special which showed the Yuris talk about how they went to the island on their cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, with other families who were on the ship enjoying their Christmas vacation on top of it. The White Island tour was part of the excursion list and people signed up for it. If you haven’t been on a cruise, which I had in 2007, part of visiting different locations you could pay for going off on adventures. I remembered sailing on Carnival and went to the Mayan Ruins of Belize where my dad and I wanted to see the ruins at some point. I do admit I did have a major bout of acrophobia during this trip since it was on a mountain and had to climb old temples but I did get to learn about the Mayans we never learned in school and it was a good break from shopping which we had done for the most part. My mom did blame my blindness but I blamed my fear of heights really and my dad did notice it. Anyways, at least I didn’t get hurt on our trip because at least Carnival did look out for people but Royal Caribbean hadn’t because White Island was an active volcano with acid lakes, mud eruptions, and steam eruptions. I would say watch the stuff on YouTube which does give you an idea of what White Island is like, I even recommend Illuminati’s episode on it for her Wild Wild World segment which I wish she kept doing.

This documentary was very interesting but I wished it would have done a little bit more since there was one survivor they didn’t feature and that was Stephanie Bower. You can watch her bits in the Trapped in the Volcano documentary, the 60 Minutes Australia special, and Mile Higher’s podcast episode on it. I did like to see what had happened with Jesse Langford, the Yuris, and Kelsey Waghorn who also survived the eruption. I did get to see this with audio description and getting to hear their accounts of what had happened to them was great because the stuff on YouTube was kind of brief with these people due to the spotlight on Stephanie and her recovery. I would love to hear more about what she went through in the eruption, again you can see her on YouTube and Tic Toc.

I did wish that this documentary could have been more than one episode, I could have enjoyed a two parter because there felt like there was more to it that can be told, especially more with the helicopter crew that rescued Stephanie and most of the other people who survived or died. What was not told, which you can find on YouTube is that most of the bodies that were left had two people wash away and I think the second episode could have expand on that especially with how rescue crews went back a few days later to get those bodies, especially one of the tour guides and Jesse’s sister, Wynnona, which we get to learn a little bit about them that they were very adventurous. I can see where we got Jesse and his family going to this island in the first place. I would also love to learn about what changed the geography of the island, as in is there still steam even though some of the audio description did mention some present day shots but not what the volcano looks like since it was a StratoVolcano, which is a cone shaped volcano coming out f the water. If you want an example, Yellowstone’s volcano is an example of this type and predictions are pointing to an eruption soon.

There was one thing that YouTube did mention and thought the NetFlix documentary should have mentioned in a second episode is that Royal Caribbean had a suit against the survivors. Mile Higher kind of went into detail with their episode where Royal Caribbean is suing the survivors which is not their fault. Yes, they signed up for an adventure but were not told that an eruption would happen that day. Remembering from what I’ve seen on YouTube, there were threats and the level was measured from one through three and apparently the island was at Level 2 due to an eruption that took place one night in 2016. At least no one was on the island. Stephanie and her family were told about this and this caused some nervousness and I can see why, if I was on that island, I would tell my dad, “I want to go back to the ship! I am not staying here!”Especially learning about how bad volcano burns are! Yes, they are not like the basic burns you could get from cooking, they are more extensive and can cause more long-term injury, scarring, and surgeries to repair the damage. Stephanie even ended back on 60 Minutes to take off her compression mask that helped heal her face burns. The Yuris did talk about their injuries in the NetFlix documentary which after watching the stuff on YouTube, I wondered how they were doing and hearing that they still have extensive burns is a major ouch, especially Brian with his ring finger on the dominant hand not working. THey showed him building a small cabinet and Laura talking about her burns on her neck and face, but what was interesting was that one part of Brian’s writ was not burned due to Laura holding it during the time of the eruption so she could hold onto him.

Rating: 3 Star Pawprint Comets Out of 5

At first I was going to give it a four but after remembering what I’ve seen on YouTube, I felt that YouTube had the better material, especially with 60 Minutes, Illuminati, and Mile Higher doing more detailed episodes on this disaster. I did like the bits that we did get to have more volcano footage because of how people used their cellphones to record this. Heck, Stephanie’s sister, Crystal, had some of the first count of the eruption because when she, Paul, and Stephanie reached the crater they had a photo in front of the black smoke that was coming out. That should have been a point to have Stephanie on this because of them getting that close along with Jesse, Brian, Laura, and Kelsey. It did help getting Kelsey to tell her part since she did yell at people to run in her group. But this documentary could have been better by adding another episode to tell more about what took place with the rescue and talking more about why crews had to hold back from going to be part of the rescue on the island, which Laura did tell 60 Minutes Australia that she was angry that they were held back and that more people could have been saved. While that is true, more people could be alive, even the Langfords and Rowerts could have survived. Plus, I felt as though YouTube had the better versions of the documentary but I can see why NetFlix had done this since the third year anniversary of this disaster did pass. You wouldn’t believe that this only happened three years ago when The Station NightClub fire happened in 2003 and Chernobyl in 1986. I think this was a good way of showing as a short piece and then let people dig deeper into the full story, which if I taught a class on historical disasters, I would show this documentary alongside Trapped in the Volcano and then used Mile Higher and Illuminati as additional resources in my class due to this documentary showing the detailed parts of the eruption and then seeing how people got trapped and the online module having an assignment with Mile Higher and Illuminati. THat is how I would teach that module.

Well, that is it for this review, I had more thoughts but it would probably take me a lot more to write into the morning but this was an okay documentary. I did enjoy Train Wrecked more though, just saying! I am still reading the final book of the Playful Brides series and will have the Bests & Worsts of 2022 sometime this weekend. So stay tuned!