Qld visitors swept into Middle Creek

ONE of Tuesday's most dramatic flood rescues was a triumph for Sawtell Fire Brigade and Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club.

Two travellers from Brisbane were swept into Middle Creek after their utility was washed off the bridge in First Avenue after 7pm.

The men's vehicle was caught in a strong current as flood water roared down Middle Creek and spread out from the Sawtell Bowling Club greens right up 1st Avenue as far as the 1st Avenue restaurants.

Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades, the commander of the Sawtell Fire Station and his fire fighters, answered 13 different calls, including a collapsing roof and collapsed awnings.

No other emergency services workers were able to reach Sawtell, which was cut off on all sides.

Cr Rhoades said they received calls that a man was clinging to a tree in Middle Creek. The car had vanished and there were fears his companion was still in the car, but then he was spotted in the same tree.

Cr Rhoades said fortunately an inflatable rescue boat (IRB) operator from Sawtell Surf Club had recently joined the fire brigade and he was able to pick up another member to crew the rescue boat.

The IRB was launched into Middle Creek from the corner of Fourth Avenue and Boronia Street and the two men were rescued about 8pm.

A crane removed their vehicle from the mouth of Middle Creek yesterday. The two men aged 50 and 59, who were transporting equipment, wanted to be known only as Neville and Steve.

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