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Pair saved from Inverleigh floodwaters
Teamwork across CFA, police, ambulance, SES and boat rescue crews saved a man and teenage girl from floodwaters in Inverleigh last night.
The pair had driven a ute into water that had risen up to 1.3 metres.
CFA’s Inverleigh Fire Brigade was on the scene about 6pm, followed by Bannockburn, Geelong Rescue, Teesdale and Winchelsea, working closely alongside the other agencies.
Brigade Captain Noel Wilson and his crew assessed the strength of the water and were concerned the ute may start to move down stream. So, while waiting for back-up, they implemented an interim plan of moving the much more stable, larger fire truck partly into the water so ropes could be thrown to the ute.
Geelong rescue parked behind Inverleigh and fed two life jackets down the ropes for the pair.
“They were both pretty scared and we were close enough to be able to speak with them and keep them as calm as possible,” Mr Wilson said.
“We then waited for air support to winch them to safety.”
Each agency had its contingency plans it preparation for a range of scenarios that could have happened during such a precarious rescue operation.
This included closely monitoring conditions, CFA’s work in throwing ropes and life jackets, and a boat rescue crew moving downstream to catch the man and girl in case the ute was pushed by floodwaters.
“Everyone did everything they could to safely rescue these people, as quickly as possible,” Mr Wilson said.
“It’s always about thinking one step ahead and preparing for a range of things that can happen.”
The operation took around two hours.