Did you know that Surf Lifesavers and State Emergency Services were able to help over 700 people who were stuck in their high-rise residences in Toowong and other areas of Brisbane?
Surf Lifesavers across South East Qld and NSW, the state’s peak aquatic rescue authority, along with the State Emergency Services (SES), was rapidly mobilised to perform welfare checks and help in emergency evacuations.
Natalie Edwards was one of the eight Surf Life Saving volunteers who worked with the SES in rescuing the trapped residents Tuesday, 1 March. She spoke to Triple M’s “The Rush Hour” and was asked how challenging it was to be involved in such a massive rescue mission which is far different from doing a surfboard rescue.
“As lifesavers, we are trained for lots of different events, flooding is not particularly one of them, but we are very well versed in safety measures and our crew are well trained,” she said.
“It’s difficult but at the same time our crew are outstanding and can assist people in any circumstances and they proved that yesterday.”
Despite the uncertainties that residents were faced with as they navigated the flood crisis, she said that the spirit of those being rescued was very high.
“The Queensland mentality came out and they were just happy to be out of their homes and be on dry land.”
Whilst 700 rescues that day was a really exhausting task, the tireless crew, nevertheless, went back the next day to assist those in flooded areas whenever they could.
“We are back on today around Brisbane helping people get out of their apartment because there are still a lot of people flooded in.”
What is her advice to people who are tempted to go to these flooded areas?
“If it is flooded, forget it. Please, just stay home if you can. If you are not able to go to work, don’t try and go through that floodwaters because it makes our job a little bit easier if you don’t drive through them.”