Gorge rescue ‘piece of cake’
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