Drunk woman tries to swim to island
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.