Teen rescued from Queensland floodwaters
Friday 25 Jan 2013 4:28 p.m.
Firefighters in Queensland have carried out a daring rescue as the state is deluged by heavy rain.
A 14-year-old boy was left clinging to a tree for his life as floodwaters rose higher and higher around him.
He'd quickly learnt his decision to go for a swim in a rising Rockhampton creek wasn't a smart one, as his rescuer Brett Williams explains.
“It was quite difficult, the water is coming up quite quickly and it is running quite fast.”
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald has been making his presence known in Queensland for several days now. The torrential rain started in the north and has been moving in a south-easterly direction.
The monsoonal-low has seen seven hundred millimetres of rainfall – causing surface flooding and rising rivers and creeks
Mr Williams says the 14-year-old wasn’t the only one at risk.
“For him it was quite serious. They get in the creeks, they get caught and they get everybody in danger. Everybody. Rescuers, everybody.”
Firefighters handed the boy a life-jacket and then managed to reach him again to get him to safety. His rescuer was washed downstream but played down the danger he was in.
“It's just how we train. We had gone as far as we could go, we couldn't pass him off to the side so we stuck him up on a branch of a tree to the other firefighters and I released and floated down which is part of our training.”
But Mr Williams' boss didn't play it quite as cool.
“I nearly lost a member today because of the stupidity [of a] young child going for a swim in these conditions. So the message is very clear - stay out of the rivers.”
More rain is forecast across Queensland tomorrow, with the flood waters expected to peak on Sunday.