Stuck in a flood

Stuck in a flood

An attempt to cross a flooded ford between the Great Alpine Road and Swifts Creek East road on Tuesday afternoon turned to mud for this young man.

After driving his ute into what he thought was just a little bit of water, resulted in a journey along the Tambo River after strong currents carried the utility and its driver about 70 metres downstream.

Swifts Creek CFA Captain, Steven O’Brien, said about half a dozen of his men were quickly on the scene and extended a long ladder to the man, who had managed to climb out of his vehicle and was standing on the tray of his ute.

“We then threw him a life jacket and a rope so he could crawl across to the river bank,” Cpt O’Brien said.

The ford is a popular shortcut for locals, but Cpt O’Brien said it could have easily turned to disaster.

“The river was way up, I haven’t seen it like that for quite a while.”

The vehicle was submerged in about 1.5 metres of water.

“The vehicle could have easily gone sideways and rotated and had that happened we could have been looking for a body,” Cpt O’Brien said.

“The water was flowing very quickly.”

SES members, along with the ambulance were also on the scene.

The vehicle and the rescue ladder are still in the river with a recovery unable to be made until the water level drops.

Cpt O’Brien said the incident was a timely reminder that attempting to cross flooded roadways carries enormous risks.

The ute is expected to be a write-off.

IMAGE: Floodwaters carried this man and his ute downstream in the Tambo River last Tuesday. (PS)