Truckie hero­ism

Owner Driver - - News - – Cobey Bar­tels

A nine-year- old boy drowned and an­other child and a man were taken to hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion fol­low­ing a tragic in­ci­dent at Tin Can Bay in Queens­land on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 12.

The two boys were fight­ing against a cur­rent in deep wa­ter af­ter they lost con­tact with their in­flat­able toy when 49-year- old truckie Adam White­house swam out to help the pair.

Graeme Spill­man, who saw the or­deal from his nearby yacht, used his tinny to save Adam and one of the two boys, aged eight.

He and other mem­bers of the pub­lic per­formed CPR un­til paramedics ar­rived, but the nine-year- old was de­clared dead at the scene.

Graeme is also a truckie and touted Adam as a su­per­hero, com­mend­ing him for risk­ing his life out­side of the truck.

The two Gympie- based truck­ies have since be­come mates and Adam’s boss at Ed­wards Trans­port even gave Graeme a job cart­ing pineap­ples af­ter the or­deal.

“We risk our lives ev­ery day to put food on the shelves and Adam risked his life once again, off the road,” Graeme says. “He’s a real hero mate, he’s a Su­per­man.”

The tragedy is fresh in Graeme’s mind and one thing he re­mem­bers is how hard Adam fought to save the boys, reach­ing com­plete ex­haus­tion in the process.

“If it wasn’t for Su­per­man, they both would have died.

“He was ready to meet his maker and he said to me, ‘I’m ex­hausted, I’m go­ing,’ but I told him he wasn’t go­ing any­where as I dragged him in.

“He is so brave and I just can’t be­lieve the strength and en­durance he had on the day. He was prob­a­bly in the wa­ter with two kids for a quar­ter of an hour. “I don’t know he did it.” Graeme de­scribes see­ing Adam with the boys, at first think­ing they were swim­ming but quickly re­al­is­ing they were in trou­ble.

“I spot­ted it from about 150m away and I thought they were out in the chan­nel too far.

“I’ve lived on my yacht for eight years so I was aware they shouldn’t be out in the cur­rent be­cause it runs at eight knots, and then I saw him put his arm up.

“I thought Adam was dead, I dragged him in and I was do­ing CPR on the child the whole time while try­ing to res­cue Adam as well.”

Owner// Driver re­cently caught up with Adam and Graeme in Bris­bane af­ter they’d carted a load of pineap­ples from Gympie.

Adam spoke of the or­deal, call­ing all truck­ies ‘he­roes’, say­ing it’s part of who they are.

“I reckon any truckie would have done what we did,” Adam says.

“We get the worst wrap out there, but these are a bunch of guys who put it all on the line.”

Adam and Graeme both spoke of most on­look­ers film­ing the in­ci­dent or tak­ing pho­tos on their phone, rather than help­ing.

“Ev­ery­body else stood around with their mo­biles tak­ing pic­tures and Adam’s fi­ancé had to run around the beach to get peo­ple to help her.”

“They had their phones out, tak­ing videos in­stead of do­ing any­thing to help us,” Graeme says.

“That really, really frus­trated me, it isn’t right.”

Adam’s boss at Ky­bong- based truck­ing com­pany Ed­wards Trans­port, John Ed­wards, is help­ing get the hard-work­ing truckie back on his feet af­ter the trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He’s stay­ing at the yard here in a house, and we’re giv­ing him a bit of com­pany to talk and stuff,” John says. “His wife is stay­ing here at the mo­ment too; she was there through the or­deal as well.”

John, who owns Ed­wards Trans­port, says Adam is a kind man and has thanked truckie Graeme who came to his res­cue.

“He’s the kind of guy that would do this; it’s part of his DNA.

“He’s a great bloke to have around and most of my guys are very hard to come by.

“It’s a bless­ing there was an­other truckie that came to save Adam.”

Heroic truck­ies: Adam White­house (right) and Graeme Spill­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.