Father and son awarded Bravery Medal for flood rescue

Gary and Ben Dingle (centre) with Mary and Lloyd Williams, who they rescued from floodwaters on Australia Day, 2013 Photo: Geoff Egan / APN Newsdesk
Gary and Ben Dingle (centre) with Mary and Lloyd Williams, who they rescued from floodwaters on Australia Day, 2013 Photo: Geoff Egan / APN Newsdesk Geoff Egan

MOST people phone the SES when there is an emergency. But when the SES could not get to a Lowmead property to help two trapped residents they phoned Gary and Ben Dingle.

In the early hours of Australia Day, 2013, Lloyd and Mary Williams found themselves trapped in their Lowmead house and phoned the SES for help.

With the SES unavailable, they phoned their neighbours - the Dingles.

The father and son received Australian Bravery Award medals at Government House in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Gary and Ben launched a boat onto a floodwater covered road to get to the Williamses.

"He's (Ben) in the front of the boat with the torches and I'm going 'This water is deep - the powerlines have got to be somewhere ahead of us'. Next minute he is yelling 'Back it off! Back it off! The powerlines are right here". They were just above us," Gary said.

In the blinding rain and wind they managed to get to the Williamses' property - but were trapped on the wrong side of a fence.

"And then when we got in there on the first attempt we had to get into the house, we went up the wrong side of the fence - so we had to come back out. And they were panicking because they thought we were leaving them there."

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They managed to get the Williamses and their dog out of danger and the boat back to the road where they had parked the car.

Despite having left the car away from the water, they found it was nearly flooded when they returned.

"Where we parked the car on the road was about a metre above where the water was when we went there. When we came back we virtually drove the boat onto the car boat trailer.

"An hour and half later where the car was parked was under about 4m of water."


Topics:  bravery award flood hero rescue

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