01 December, 2013

December 1 Dastardly Doings in Dunolly District

The rescue was effected tonight of a family which has been marooned under exciting circum- stances in the Golden Valley Hotel at BetBet. Mr and Mrs. J. Gorman and six members of their family found themselves trapped in the hotel by the rising flood-waters, which completely surrounded the building. Several attempts to rescue them failed during the day, and alarm was caused this afternoon by a report that the water was still rising and had passed the previous record height. 
Portion of the hotel collapsed and at one time fears were entertained for the safety of the marooned family. Frantic efforts to reach them were made by men in boats, but before reaching the hotel the boats were swept away by the force of the current.
Disaster nearly overtook a rescue party this morning, when J. Scantlebury, who was in the leading boat, was swept off his feet. He managed to grasp a fence, and was helped back to the boat by First constable G. Coulter, who pluckily jumped into the water. 
Rescue finally came when First constable Coulter and Messrs. Harvey, Wybar, and other Bet Bet residents succeeded in reaching the hotel in the face of great difficulties. Heroism was shown by the men in manoeuvring their boat through a raging torrent caused by the swirling flood-waters. 
Two trips were required to take all the members of the family from the building. The Gormans are now being cared for by residents. The rescue was undoubtedly effected in the nick of time, for the remainder of the building is unsafe, and may collapse at any moment. 
To-night it was necessary for the post-mistress to leave the post-office, situated about 800 yards from the hotel. There was also a further rise of water at BowenVale and residents in the danger zone took steps to leave their homes if necessary.

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