A TRUCKIE from Windsor used a tinny to rescue seven campers, including two small children from rising flood waters in Kurrajong on the weekend.
Tony Clark pulled off the dramatic rescue on a washed-out campsite at Wheeny Creek near Weatherboard Ridge Road after torrential rain caused the creek bed to burst its banks, leaving the campers stranded.
The holidaymakers, including five adults, two children and three dogs, had to seek refuge on top of a tin roof after their site was inundated with deep floodwater when a wave of bad weather swept through the Hawkesbury on Saturday night.
It is believed the group woke up at about 1.30am to find deep floodwaters encircling their campsite.
The two children, aged four and five, along with three men and two women, had to climb onto the roof of an old barbecue area to escape the rising creek water.
Their three pet dogs waded through the waist-deep water and also had to be lifted onto the roof.
Surrounded by the rising waters, they were forced to spend the night clinging to one another as they waited to be rescued, not knowing the extent of the flooding due to the pitch black conditions.
After a fearful night, help in the way of Mr Clark and his tinny finally arrived on Sunday morning. Mr Clark said while flash flooding was something of a regular occurrence on his uncle’s 40 acres of creek bed, the time it took for the water to rise came as a surprise.
“Usually it takes eight to 10 hours, but within an hour, the campers were swimming in it,” Mr Clark said.
He said he had got a call from his uncle who lives on the other side of the creek at about 8am on Sunday morning.
“He told me that the property was flooded and the campers were all sitting on top of the shed roof.”
After calling emergency crews, Mr Clark got his tinny out and drove to his uncle’s place.
He powered his tinny about seven and a half kilometres into the bush to locate them. On his way, Mr Clark passed cars, tractors and caravans which had been swept away by the current.
Mr Clark said that despite being left scared and wet by the ordeal, the campers were in good spirits when he reached them.
“Let’s just say when I got to them, they were very pleased to see me,” Mr Clark said.
“The dogs were more scared than their owners.
‘‘I am just so glad I was able to rescue my uncle’s friends safely with no injuries.”
Police and SES crews also attended the scene.