• Tony Bosworth

Mission impossible and Oceans 10 – the local heroes who rescued cows trapped to die in flood waters

When the call went out over social media on Saturday – an increasingly desperate call – for someone, anyone, to go out in to flood waters, and rescue stranded cows on Terrace Road, plenty said it couldn’t and shouldn’t be done.

It was dangerous, anyone who tried might die, leave the cows, said plenty of comments.

“The elderly cattle owners woke on Saturday morning to their cattle isolated on an island,” organiser William Potter told the Post.

“They felt unable to do anything about it. The SES was called and nearly did the rescue but was unable to at the final moment because of calls elsewhere.”

SES pulled away to another emergency at the last minute

As the SES got pulled from the scene at the last moment, and the cows’ were sheltering on the one remaining bit of reasonably high ground with time rapidly running out, William and his mates swung into action.

Ten people got together – looked at the ocean of water in front of them and decided to get this done.

“We can’t name them,” said William, “due to the legality of entering floodwaters.”

Put simply, you could get arrested for doing this, and for good reason – it’s dangerous. But heroes don’t worry about that – they just get on and do the job.

As the water rose into the night, we all felt helpless,” said William.

“We woke Sunday morning to the water having dropped a metre and nine out of 10 isolated cattle remained alive.”

They organised, they got together, they went out there with a jetski and a tinny with an outboard. Two men were ferried to the now quickly shrinking island and herded the cattle to the water’s edge.

They led the cows through waters up to their necks. The rescue took half an hour, which might not seem like a long time, but out there on that vast ocean of water it seemed like an eternity

“If the cows had stayed any longer or were further from the shore, I'm certain they may have drowned,” William said.

That’s the thing about the Hawkesbury – while not suggesting anyone should go out in flood waters – we get things done here, no matter what it takes.

Stay safe, people.

Thanks to William Potter for the pictures

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