Queensland floods: Mick Fanning dons his wetsuit and rescues flooded residents on his JET SKI
Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning has swapped his board for a jet ski to help save flood-affected residents alongside fellow surfer Joel Parkinson.
The three-time world champion dusted off the suit on Tuesday to lend a hand to stranded residents in Murwillumbah on the New South Wales north coast.
He responded to a call on social media from pharmacist Skye Swift, who needed a ride from Tweed to Murwillumbah to ensure residents had access to life-saving medicine.
Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning swapped his board for a jetski to give local pharmacist Skye Swift a boost (pictured)
However, Ms Swift was in shock when the surfing legend showed up on her jet ski to take her through the flood waters.
Fellow Australian world surfing champion Joel Parkinson also rescued dozens of people stranded by Queensland floods on his jet ski on Monday and Tuesday.
But when Parkinson returned home ‘exhausted’ to the Gold Coast, he found his house had been broken into and his wife Monica’s car had been taken.
Former world champion surfer Joel Parkinson returned home after rescuing flood victims from a raging Tweed River to find thieves had stolen his wife Monica’s car
Parkinson helped save dozens of people from rising waters on his jet ski around Tumbulgum and Murwillumbah in Queensland
Southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales are in the midst of a once-in-a-century flood crisis with dozens of river systems overwhelming low-lying communities after unprecedented rainfall.
“All day I’ve been helping people who were on the verge of losing their lives and their homes and coming back home,” Parkinson told the Mail Mail.
While many people were trying to help, others “just wanted to hurt,” he said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday said reports of looting of homes of flood victims were ‘unbelievable’
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk described the looting of property from flood victims as “unbelievable”.
“The last thing[residentsneedtoworryaboutissomeonewalkingintotheirhouse…stopit”shesaid[residents’needtobeworriedaboutissomeoneclimbingintotheirhouse…juststopit’shesaid[lesrésidentsdoivents’inquiéterc’estquequelqu’unentredansleurmaison…arrêtezça”a-t-elledéclaré[residents’needtobeworriedaboutissomeoneclimbingintotheirhouse…juststopit’shesaid
State Police Minister Mark Ryan described the looters as “grubs”.
Parkinson, 40, and several surfer friends, including his former world champion Mick Fanning, helped people and pets in flooded homes in Tumbulgum and Murwillumbah.
Like many locals with personal watercraft, Parkinson and Fanning launched their jet skis from the River Tweed and drove to many homes in low-lying riverside communities.
Parkinson estimates they saved up to 40 people, six dogs, three cats and a few chickens.
“I’ve rescued cats, dogs, had 10-15 people on my ski, it’s been hectic, just picking up people, going to heights,” he said in a video.
In the video, Parkinson can be heard saying that the house in this footage is a two-story house – and that he was riding on vehicles to reach it
“We went to a farmhouse that I thought was one story. the water was so high.
“But it was actually two floors and I was jet skiing over their cars to get to them,” Parkinson told the Courier Mail.
During a rescue, Parkinson recovered a man from a treehouse along with a woman, her four-year-old child and their dog.
Parkinson and Fanning were joined in jet ski rescues by fellow surfers Bede Durbidge, Mikey Wright and comedian Celeste Barber’s husband Api Robin.
Parkinson said he could never look at the River Tweed the same way again, saying he had never seen it so flooded.
Former NRL superstar Greg Inglis has meanwhile expressed fears for his family members stranded by floods in northern New South Wales.
Inglis told The Daily Telegraph he had spent a sleepless night worrying about his family members who live in Nambucca, Macksville, Ballina, Grafton and Lismore.
“I followed the rain radar because it worries me,” he said.
“I was just up there to see my family on Sunday as they were about to get rainy.
“My friends and family desperately tried to get sandbags.
“I think that’s the hardest part, you see what’s going on and you want to do something but you can’t. You feel helpless.