The Coffs Coast Advocate

Roller coaster ride for lost slippery dip

LOST in the floods: one slippery dip.

That was the sign that Vanessa Hogan posted around Urunga after her five-year-old son Christopher's beloved slide floated out the backyard of their Newry Island home and into the Kalang River during flooding last week.

“We didn't hold out much hope when we saw the slippery dip float over the fence,” Vanessa said.

“We scoured the river with binoculars for most of the week and we thought the lost poster might be a lost cause when no one rang.”

But serendipity was on their side, when four days later Christopher's best friend, Milly Fahey, and her mother, Ruth, saw something strange in the water while fishing off the boardwalk at Urunga on Saturday.

“We couldn't believe it when Ruth called us to say she and Milly had found the slippery dip,” Vanessa said.

“What an adventure that slide must have had!”

Milly and Ruth, who rarely go fishing, scrambled down rocks to rescue the beloved slide and it was returned to an elated Christopher on Sunday.

“Milly's even more his best friend now,” Vanessa said.

The story of the exceptionally slippery dip was a welcome respite for residents of Urunga following the flooding last week, with people stopping Vanessa in the street for regular updates on the search for the slide.

It was a delightful end to what could have been a tragic story, with Vanessa and her family, like many other Coffs Coast residents, watching the floodwaters rise in their backyard last week.

Vanessa said the peg basket was her rain gauge, and every hour after 10am they watched the water slowly submerge the basket.

But she knew the house was safe when the high tide hit at about 4.30pm and the peak in her backyard was lower than flooding that had occurred three years ago.

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