Jet ski rescue dramas

23 Feb, 2006 01:03 PM
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A MAN stranded on his car at a flooded Lake Grace road crossing was saved in an unorthodox rescue by Doug Clarke.

Mr Clarke, a Lake Grace graingrower and WAFarmers grain section president, was having fun with his family on a jet ski on the flooded Lake Grace environs last Sunday when he got an unusual call for help from a neighbour.

"My neighbour told me there was a bloke down at the road crossing stranded on his car in the water, so I jumped on the jet ski, which is a stand-on number, and went full-bore down there," Mr Clarke told Farm Weekly by phone from his marooned farm homestead.

"I saw the guy standing on top of his Hilux cab; I didn't know him, and he was knee-deep in water and he looked a bit nervous.

"I asked him if anyone was in the car and he said yes because he couldn't hear me, but he thought I said 'anything', because he had his laptop in there, so that was a bit of a worry for a second.

"Then he jumped in the water and grabbed hold of my legs holding on for grim death and we set off, but all the propulsion jets were in his face and the spray and jets were hitting me in the stomach.

"I was trying to go as slow as possible but the force of the water was so hard some of my clothes got ripped off."

Mr Clarke said although he laughed about the whole rescue now, it was definitely not a laughing matter at the time.

"We finally got near to the road where some other people helped get him out of the water and I was so fatigued by this stage my arms felt like they were coming out of their sockets," he said.

"It was getting dark and I had to negotiate my way back home across all the fences, so I didn't stick around too much because the current was quite strong and I knew I only had one way home.

"The guy smiled his teeth off his face when the police turned up, but I found out they were not very happy with him because he had gone through a road-closed sign and that's how he got stranded."

Mr Clarke laughed off suggestions of bravery.

"It's just what you do," he said.

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