Taking on the flood rapids
SINGLE-handedly, Rodney Free faced the river in January 2013 and took it upon himself to put his own life in danger to save the lives of three others.
As two of the property's owners attempted to negotiate the floodwaters, they were swept 100m downstream before managing to cling to a power pole.
As access to the property had been cut, local man Rodney Free was contacted and he quickly got to the property and launched his small boat into the torrent of water.
The son of one of the men already in trouble waded into the water to assist, and he too was swept off his feet before managing to cling onto a eucalyptus tree.
Mr Free said the steering cable on the boat broke and it got hairy for a while.
“It was lucky that I got there when I did, because the old fella wasn’t going to hang on much longer,” he said. “I manually steered the boat to the first man who climbed aboard.”
He then motored the boat through the fast-flowing water to the two men on the power pole and pulled them aboard.
Mr Free is commended for brave conduct and will be presented with his award later this year at Government House.
BRAVE MAN: Rodney Free picking mangoes.