Four rescued after two vehicles swept away in flood waters – Northern Region

Police have rescued four people from flood waters in two separate rescue operations in the state’s Northern Region yesterday.

In one incident, emergency services were called to Riverford Road at Burrell Creek – about 25km south-west of Taree – about 3.30pm (Friday 26 November 2021), following reports a 200 Series Landcruiser had been swept from a small causeway by rising flood waters.

The vehicle was carried 200m downstream, where it became wedged on a number of rocks in the middle of the flooded creek.

Two men – aged 46 and 30 – entered the floodwaters in an attempt to assist the trapped driver – a 65-year-old man.

Five officers – four senior constables and a constable – attached to Manning/Great Lakes Police District were first on scene and were guided to the vehicle by a member of the public.

One of the police officers located a rope and fashioned a loop in the end, before throwing it about 10m to the three stranded men.

Police then rescued the men by pulling them individually across the flood waters.

All three were assessed at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and did not require further medical treatment.

In a second incident, officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District were responding to a request for assistance at Wybong Road, Muswellbrook, about 10.20pm (Friday 26 November 2021).

Upon arrival, officers were notified by a member of the public that a Toyota Hilux had attempted to cross the Rosebrook Spillway, before being swept from the roadway into floodwaters.

Police commenced a search, locating the Hilux about 400m from the spillway with flood waters rising over the bonnet.

Officers attempted to winch the vehicle from the water; however, were unsuccessful.

The driver – a 52-year-old man – climbed out of the ute and attempted to swim against the flood waters, however, began drifting further downstream along with the vehicle.

A sergeant and senior constable entered the water and waded out to assist the man, who was safely returned to shore.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being taken to Muswellbrook Hospital for observation.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, commended the actions of all officers involved in the flood rescues.

“In the face of extreme danger, these officers acted quickly and courageously to ensure the stranded motorists were safely rescued,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

“The reality is that police face many dangerous scenarios every shift they work, and they will do everything they can to protect the lives of the people of NSW.

“With more wet weather expected in the next week, the community are reminded to heed the warnings and advice of emergency services, particularly in the event of flood water.

“Floodwater is extremely dangerous as it can have fast moving undercurrents that can wash people and vehicles away. Everyone should always remember to never drive, ride or walk-through floodwater,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

Further information about staying safe during extreme weather events is available at: https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/disaster-tabs-header/flood/

For assistance in storms or floods, contact the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500. In an emergency or life-threatening situation, call Triple Zero (000).

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