Gorge res­cue ‘piece of cake’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

TER­RENCE Gib­son reck­ons res­cu­ing a Korean tourist from dan­ger­ous flood­wa­ters in Moss­man Gorge was “a piece of cake” - but ad­mits he only jumped in to help be­cause the woman was clearly strug­gling for her life.

Mr Gib­son was at home at the Moss­man Gorge com­mu­nity when a tourist showed up ask­ing for a rope on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

“I didn’t have a rope, so I gave him a hose,” he said.

“Then I got cu­ri­ous and went to have a look.

“This woman was hang­ing onto a rock in the rapids, and she was stuck.

“I could see she was hav­ing trou­ble hold­ing on, and the SES weren’t go­ing to get there in time, so I jumped in to give her a hand.

“If I hadn’t, she prob­a­bly would have only lasted about 10 min­utes, she was so tired.”

Mr Gib­son, who grew up swim­ming in the fast-flow­ing waters of Moss­man Gorge, picked his way care­fully across sub­merged rocks to the stranded tourist while a friend waited on the side of the river.

“The wa­ter wasn’t very deep, but she was ex­hausted from hang­ing onto the rock for al­most an hour and she wasn’t a great swim­mer, so I wasn’t go­ing to try to bring her back across,” he said.

“It took a long time for her to take my hand, she was pan­ick­ing a lot.

“I kept say­ing to her, ’Just think pos­i­tive’, and even­tu­ally she let me help her.”

Mr Gib­son helped the woman to the north­ern bank of the river, where they waited for the SES to ar­rive.

“It was prob­a­bly an hour be­fore the SES crew from Cairns showed up with their raft,” he said.

“By then, she had re­cov­ered enough to walk 100 me­tres down­stream to the bil­l­abong, and they brought the raft over.”

Mr Gib­son said the tourist ap­peared un­in­jured by the ex­pe­ri­ence, al­though badly shaken.

“I met her the next day at the shops, and she in­vited me to visit her in Korea,” he said.

To the res­cue: Ter­rence Gib­son saved a tourist from the rag­ing Gorge

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