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Bundy flood rescuers honoured by Bravery Citation

Martin Cole, James Farraway and Andrew Smith have received bravery awards for their work during the 2013 Bundaberg flood. Photo: Geoff Egan / APN Newsdesk
Martin Cole, James Farraway and Andrew Smith have received bravery awards for their work during the 2013 Bundaberg flood. Photo: Geoff Egan / APN Newsdesk

WHEN they were asked during the 2013 floods to use an inflatable rescue boat to rescue a group trapped on the roof of a Booyan house, Martin Cole, Trevor Farraway and Andrew Smith did not think the job would be hard.

"I thought we'd be home for dinner," Mr Cole said.

Instead Mr Cole and Mr Farraway ended up camped on a Moore Park beach - surrounded by water and caring for a severely wounded elderly woman while Mr Smith organised for supplies and water to be jet skied to the others.

They received the group Bravery Citation at Queensland Government House in Brisbane on Wednesday.

About midday on January 27, 2013, Mr Cole, a surf lifesaver, and Mr Farraway, a firefighter, responded to the call for help. Mr Smith, also a firefighter, remained at their vehicle to coordinate the efforts.

They were given only vague directions and found no one on the roofs of Booyan's houses and began to search nearby fishing shacks.

On one roof they found three people, including a woman in her 80s who had been seriously cut while getting onto the roof. They evacuated them from the roof but found the current was too strong to return to Mr Smith.

Instead they took the inflatable rescue boat to Moore Park beach - hoping they could be picked up there. When they found the area cut off and the sun setting - they set up camp on the beach.

Mr Smith then organised for a jet ski to drop supplies and drinking water off.

At the beach the two men gave first aid to the wounded woman until ambulance officers arrived the next day to take her to hospital.

"What we were hoping would be a straightforward operation ended up a bit more than that," Mr Farraway said.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  bravery award hero


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