Saturday, 15 January 2011

Don't they watch television?

Son1 and I went for a drive yesterday checking out water levels around our area. Creeks were swirling, paddocks were floating, but it was all a curiosity for us, no danger. Our last stop was the ford nearby. Water flows across this ford regularly, after any substantial rain and locals know when this short cut is not available to them. (A big sign back at the main road helps too).

I was taking photos and chatting with other locals about the depth/speed of the water, when a car decided it was worth a try. Crossing the ford that is.

Within metres of entering the water, it came to a stop forwards and began to slide sideways. Fortunately for them, they're not the first to put themselves in this situation and there are bollards to prevent cars being washed downstream. The car quickly settled against the bollards.

The girl in the car was, not surprisingly, quite upset. She opened her window and climbed onto the roof. Her male companion driver was recipient of many words. We watched as he climbed on the roof too.

Another onlooker waded a little way into the water. He quickly realised the water was running too fast to reach the car and instead focused on calming the girl, lest she try to escape the car. He also called the fire brigade.

Within a few minutes, all the services were there. The big fire truck, ambulance and police. The fire truck drove alongside and the two transferred to the car. Safe.

It's hard to imagine that they've missed all the television footage about the power of water in flood. Perhaps it was too far away or abstract for them. Who knows? But the fellow's car is likely to be a write off and he's got plenty of explaining to do. To his girl, to the police, to his family. An expensive few minutes.


sheryl gwyther said...

We had the same thing happening up here if after a lives were lost because that is exactly what people were doing - and even after the warnings in the media. Many even drove around roadblocks, can you believe it?
I think it's that gungho mentality many people seem to have. Caution is thrown out the window. Stupid, I call them. Esp when their stupidity risks the lives of rescuers.

Claire said...

The header from my post was a quote from one of the fireys.

And the ambo was cross too. they'd been diverted from a callout to a woman with chest pain.

A woman on a bike was calling out to them, querying their sanity. I suggested that the situation they found themselves in was probably punishment enough for them while they were still waiting rescue.

I can only hope that their lucky escape and the chat the services will have had with them, will serve as a life-learning experience.