Drunk woman tries to swim to is­land

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

IN­VOLV­ING the pub­lic and po­lice of­fi­cers in a dra­matic res­cue at­tempt while drunk has left one Airlie Beach woman with a $1000 good be­hav­iour bond.

On Mon­day, Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court heard how Michele Therese Wright, 56, was drink­ing at Ban­jos Bar and Bistro in Can­non­vale when she be­came heav­ily in­tox­i­cated.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Bern­hard Berger said about 10pm Wright be­came in­volved in an ar­gu­ment with an­other per­son at the venue.

“Fol­low­ing the ar­gu­ment she started scream­ing out say­ing she was go­ing to kill her­self and pro­ceeded to walk down Beach Rd to the beach,” he said.

At 7.15pm, po­lice were called to Can­non­vale Beach by con­cerned mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“Po­lice were told that (Wright) had told var­i­ous mem­bers of the pub­lic that were present at the beach that she was go­ing to drown her­self and im­me­di­ately started swim­ming out to Pioneer Bay,” Mr Berger said.

Mul­ti­ple mem­bers of the pub­lic tried to re­trieve Wright from the water but she con­tin­ued to swim out deeper, pre­vent­ing any res­cue at­tempts.

When she dis­ap­peared from sight, po­lice ar­rived on the scene.

It was a short time later that water po­lice found Wright stranded on Pigeon Is­land about 800m off­shore.

Af­ter be­ing col­lected by po­lice, Wright was trans­ported to Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal for an emer­gency ex­am­i­na­tion, Mr Berger told the court.

About 10pm the same night, po­lice re­ceived a call from Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal in re­la­tion to a pa­tient who was sub­ject to an emer­gency ex­am­i­na­tion.

At 10.45pm, po­lice found Wright on Main St, Proser­pine, where she was taken back to the hos­pi­tal.

Be­tween 10.15pm and 11.15pm, Wright, who was in­tox­i­cated at the time, was taken to an ob­ser­va­tion room and mon­i­tored by po­lice in the wait for a doc­tor.

She pro­ceeded to tell po­lice she was leav­ing and be­gan walk­ing to the hos­pi­tal doors in a bid to exit.

An of­fi­cer present pushed the door shut and asked her to sit down.

Af­ter sev­eral at­tempts at leav­ing, Wright struck the of­fi­cer on his shoul­der with a pair of shoes.

While try­ing to exit into the emer­gency room, an­other po­lice of­fi­cer was forced to re­strain her when she re­fused to re­turn to her seat.

In court, Wright said she did not feel she was in­tox­i­cated at the time, just ex­tremely de­pressed.

“I’m sorry, I’m not a vi­o­lent per­son, I wouldn’t have hurt any­body,” she said.

Plead­ing guilty to pub­lic nui­sance and ob­struct­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, Wright was placed on a 12-month good be­hav­iour bond with a $1000 recog­ni­sance by Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young. No con­vic­tion was recorded.

If you or some­one you know needs help phone Life­line on 13 11 44.

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