Gippsland floods rescues

VICSES Sunbury unit volunteers Alan Kuras and Jacinta Hall, and VICSES Hobsons Bay unit volunteer Jaymes Oldani who were deployed to Gippsland last week (VICSES).

Hobsons Bay and Sunbury volunteers came to the rescue in Gippsland last Friday, saving two people from the roof of their vehicle in floodwater.

At 5.30am on October 6, a VICSES boat crew stationed at Lakes Entrance received a call from Victoria Police to attend a water rescue incident in Bairnsdale.

VICSES Sunbury coxswain’s Alan Kuras and Jacinta Hall, as well as Hobsons Bay unit member Jaymes Oldani were deployed to assist flood-affected communities as a boat rescue crew.

The crew of three approached the car downriver to where it was floating, near a submerged bridge.

As the occupants had taken refuge on the roof of their vehicle, the crew grabbed at them with outstretched arms to safely pull them into the craft.

Mr Kuras said in comparison to other flood events, the first day of activity is often spent rescuing people from homes.

“After that, you can spend a lot of your time rescuing people from submerged cars,” he said.

“I expected that this time as well, however VICSES had put a lot of work into warnings and door knocking before the weather event, so the local community were well-informed.”

The crew then travelled to different parts of the flood-affected area to monitor water gauges to upload information to the Snap Send Solve app, for use in real-time planning.

Having already been through floods and fires, the local unit members farewelled the visiting crew before continuing their work assisting flood-affected communities.

VICSES Bairnsdale unit volunteers were also in attendance to provide rescue support to the vehicle rescue.