Rescued Swiss tourists thank residents for help
Two Swiss tourists rescued from floodwaters in Tom Price last Wednesday have thanked residents for their help in the aftermath.
Julian Marti, 26, and Sandra Brack, 27, were travelling north from Exmouth and had stopped their campervan at a rest stop at Tom Price’s Halfway Bridge when they awoke about 2am to find their van taking on water.
A sudden downpour had caused flash-flooding in the area, and Mr Marti said they had been shocked to look out of the windscreen and see water at window-level.
The tourists headed to higher ground by a nearby toilet block and called for help before their vehicle was washed away a short distance and landed on its side.
“We just stood there … the water was rising up to our waists and we were just scared in the beginning because the water level was rising all the time,” Mr Marti said.
“But at one point, it fell back down and we thought we were safe there.”
Tom Price police First Class Constable Rhys Kohunui tried to reach the couple before the depth and current made it unsafe to continue, then three State Emergency Service volunteers brought extra rescue equipment and successfully reached the pair.
Mr Marti and Ms Brack said they were grateful for how much Tom Price residents had done for them since the incident, including through donations of clothes from Tom Price Visitor Centre, accommodation at Tom Price Motel and transport from Tom Price Taxi Service.
“I think that was the most emotional part of the whole thing,” Mr Marti said. “We were at the visitor centre and we had nothing ... it was just so amazing to see how the people took care of us.
“So we just want to say thank you to all the people in town and the rescue guys and everyone who helped us.”
The pair had been passing through Tom Price on their way to Karijini National Park, which was to be their last stop on a trip around Australia, but will now return to Perth.
Their campervan was recovered late last week.