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Media Updates

QFRS Swift water rescue activity and SES response - Wednesday, 25 January 2012 as at 7.15am
25/01/2012

State Emergency Service (SES) activity update

The State Emergency Service (SES) has received approximately 600 requests for assistance from midnight to 1pm. The majority of these were for the Brisbane (210), South East (315) and North Coast (61) regions.

Of these jobs, the majority have been for storm damage operations such as damaged roofs and minor water inundation.

In Brisbane, the northern suburbs of Zillmere, Deagon and Brighton as well as Redcliffe, Deception Bay and Bribie Island remain the worst affected with more than 40 SES volunteers on the ground.

On the Sunshine Coast more than 70 volunteers have been kept extremely busy across the Caloundra and Nambour areas, and in the south east the Gold Coast and Logan remain the worst affected.

It is anticipated more SES volunteers will be on the ground later today helping to assist their local communities.

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is urging residents to take care with heavy rainfall and thunderstorms expected to continue across the south east.

If residents require storm and flood assistance they should contact the SES on 132 500. In a life-threatening emergency, which includes vehicles trapped in floodwater, always dial triple zero (000).

This is a reminder for all Queenslanders to ensure they are well prepared for storm and cyclone season. For information on what you can do to prepare your home visit http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/getready/.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) activity update

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) personnel have continued to respond to multiple swift water rescues across south east Queensland today.

Since midnight, firefighters have been called to 10 reports of people requiring assistance after becoming trapped in floodwaters. In most circumstances the occupants were able to escape from the vehicles and did not require assistance from QFRS.

Of these, two occurred at Willawong, two at Carina and one on Coochiemudlo Island in Brisbane Region.

Around 8.15am, QFRS responded to reports of someone trapped in their home in rising floodwaters on Coochiemudlo Island. Crews arrived to find the person safe and well and assisted to remove floodwater from the property. The other four jobs were reports of people who had driven vehicles through rising floodwaters. All occupants were able to escape uninjured.

Five of the 10 cases occurred in the South Eastern Region (Burleigh Heads, Oxenford, Wongawallan, Mudgeeraba and Tabragalba).

The SES used a flood boat to rescue an adult and three children after they became trapped in their vehicle in rising waters off Beaudesert Nerang Road, Tabragalba around 10.45am. The four people were able to move to higher ground while emergency crews worked to reach them. They were returned to dry land around midday and were uninjured.

Residents across south east Queensland are being reminded if itís flooded, forget it.

People can easily be caught out even on familiar roads and even if you think local knowledge will get you through, think again. Floodwaters are treacherous and the dangers are hidden under the surface. Flash flooding can occur quickly and catch drivers unaware and there is no excuse for those who deliberately drive past a road closed sign into flood water.

In most cases, swift water rescue is completely preventable. Flooded road crossings have the potential force to move very heavy vehicles and once the tyres leave the road surface the driver will have no control over the vehicle and no amount of experience or driver training can prevent that.

People who enter floodwaters are not only putting their lives at risk, but the lives of their rescuers. Although firefighters are highly trained and skilled, swift water rescue is the most dangerous operation they are required to undertake.


Contact for media enquiries: Department of Community Safety Media on 3247 8186.