A Cowra man in his 70s walked from floodwaters near Wattamondara at around 3.30pm today after ignoring police, ambulance and SES attempts to assist him for up to six hours.
The man refused to talk to police over a long period claiming he could not hear them because of the floodwaters surrounding his farm vehicle which had been turned sideways when he attempted to drive through a flooded causeway.
At around 1pm police asked the man to raise his left hand if he could hear them.
Despite SES rescue personal on the opposite side of the causeway being able to clearly hear the officers the man failed to respond.
“Please turn your mobile phone on so we can check you’re okay,” police also said to the man.
“We’re worried about you, we want to make sure you’re okay.
“It’s important for your safety and ours that you understand what I am saying,” the officer said to the man.
“Please turn on your mobile back on.
“Is there anyone you want us to contact to let them know you are okay.,” the officer said.
During the exchange which continued for some time, police attempted to reassure the man that they were only interested in his safety, telling him repeatedly they needed to speak with him.
“Can the rescue people come towards your car,” the police said.
“It’s too great a risk to leave you there, if you can hear me, none of us are going anywhere.
“We don’t care how you got there, we just want to get you out safely.”
While the exchange was taking place members of the Cowra SES and a specialist swift-water rescue team was strategically placed downstream of the man in case he decided to leave the safety of his vehicle.
At times he lay in the rear of the farm truck, taking his shoes and socks off at one stage before placing them back on.
He also took a jacket on and off.
The man eventually retrieved a mobile phone from what could have been a toolbox in the rear of the vehicle but told police he didn’t know how to answer it.
Police made several attempts to call him and at one stage sent him a text message with an officer’s number telling him to call it.
As time passed police asked the man “are you waiting for the water to come down, how long are you going to stay there.
“I know you can hear me, just talk to me, you seem like a reasonable man, turn your phone on.”
The man returned to the cab of his vehicle at one point winding the passenger window up before climbing back on to the rear of the vehicle.
When SES crew members moved an inflatable dinghy closer to the water the man decided to take matters into his own hands and slipped down the side of his vehicle.
The swift-water rescue crew, which had been flown to the scene by helicopter from Forbes,moved in quickly, making their way to the vehicle and assisted him to the edge of the water where he placed some of his belongings.
EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WARNING: Swearing in video is from man being rescued by SES from a swollen creek near Cowra.
He then returned to his vehicle, assisted by rescuers, to retrieve more items before again making his way to the roadway.
He then proceeded to walk away from the scene telling those present he was returning home.
A short distance down the road he was picked up by a vehicle which was promptly stopped by SES members who told the driver the man was required to remain at the scene for police who were on the other side of the flooded causeway.
The man is believed to be helping police with their inquiries.