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
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
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.