MEDIA RELEASE: VICSES swift water specialists rescue stranded man

MEDIA RELEASE: VICSES swift water specialists rescue stranded man

06/08/2021, 11:00 AM

Last night, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers applied their critical swift water rescue skills in the rescue of an individual after their vehicle had become swept off the road in Cobrico, near Terang.

Volunteers from the South West region used a rescue boat from the VICSES Camperdown Unit, to successfully navigate through dangerous conditions, and retrieve the individual safely from the roof of the vehicle, after water had come up to the windows.

The rescue persons request for assistance came through just before 11:00pm last night, after Mt Emu Creek had broken its bank.

The individual was driving on a local road, when water across road caused the vehicle to float into a nearby creek.

VICSES immediately responded to perform the rescue with volunteers from across several units in attendance, including the VICSES Terang, Cobden, and Camperdown units, as well as our specialist land based swift water rescue (LBSWR) team from Warrnambool.

The rescue was undertaken by the rescue boat crew, with the support of the land based swift water team. The teams worked together with local Victoria Police and Country Fire Authority members, to successfully rescue the person from the vehicle, and return the individual to safety with no visible physical injuries.

Flood water rescue is complex and dangerous, and requires a crew with specific skills to identify the risks and perform a safe rescue. VICSES volunteers accredited in swift water rescue, undertake rigorous training and maintenance to ensure they meet the national standards of accreditation.

This is a timely reminder to never drive through flood water. Before you travel, check if flooding is likely, plan ahead and make alternative arrangements so you are not driving on flooded roads.

If you require VICSES emergency assistance, ring 132 500 or Triple-zero (000) in a life-threatening emergency.

Quotes attributable to VICSES Operations Manager, Andrew Murton.

“Our volunteers last night did an incredible job, they worked through the night in cold and dangerous conditions with minimal light to assist. I’m extremely proud of how well our rescue crews worked together to achieve this fantastic outcome”.

“This is exactly what our volunteers train for. They are highly experienced and capable for these types of rescues, and I am thrilled with the result”.

“This is a good reminder for locals and community members to never drive through flood water. The risk is too great; it can take just 15cms of water for a small vehicle to float. If it’s flooded, forget it”.