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Rescue still haunts Toowoomba flood hero

Toowoomba flood hero Chris Skehan won a Bravery Award for rescuing Blake Rice in 2011.
Toowoomba flood hero Chris Skehan won a Bravery Award for rescuing Blake Rice in 2011. Geoff Egan

FOUR years after Chris Skehan swam into floodwaters to save a family trapped in a car, the memory still haunts him.

On January 10, 2011, Mr Skehan tied a rope around himself and swam out to the white sedan where Donna Rice and her two sons Blake and Jordan were trapped.

He grabbed Blake and dropped him back to another man, Warren McErlean, who had also been trying to save them. Mr Skehan then swam back to the car where he tried to pull Ms Rice and Jordan out before floodwaters swept them away.

Mr Skehan was yesterday awarded a Bravery Medal for his actions.

"Probably why I haven't told it so much over the years is whilst I might have rescued one kid there were two people who didn't survive and I was happy to survive. It didn't have a happy ending," Mr Skehan told APN Newsdesk.

"It's not like I could sit there and go 'I've just saved three people it's all roses'. So I didn't really talk about it that much.

"I did as much as I could. I question a lot of times if I could have done something more or done something different. I suppose that was something I thought about a lot."

RELATED: Father and son awarded Bravery Medal for flood rescue

Despite the tragic memories of the day, Mr Skehan said it was nice to be recognised.

"It's nice to be recognised among those sorts of people - other people who have done the same thing or bigger and greater," he said.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  bravery award donna rice editors picks hero jordan rice


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