Res­cued Swiss tourists thank res­i­dents for help

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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