Noosa area SES volunteers preparing for an exercise on Noosa River save a man who drove his mobility scooter off a wharf at Tewantin.
Noosa area SES volunteers preparing for an exercise on Noosa River save a man who drove his mobility scooter off a wharf at Tewantin. Geoff Potter

Lucky escape for elderly man

IT WAS a case of the right people being in the right place at the right time yesterday when Noosa SES volunteers jumped to the rescue of an 80-year-old man after he drove his mobility scooter off a jetty just metres from where they were practising water rescue techniques.

Last night it was still unclear if the volunteers saw the man land in the Noosa River when his scooter plunged off the Tewantin jetty at Lake St about 9am.

But they certainly heard the splash he made when he hit the water and sprang into action.

Sunshine Coast North SES controller Stan Ryan said the crews had the man out of the water almost immediately and paramedics were quickly on the scene.

He had some trouble breathing and was treated beside the river before being taken by ambulance to Noosa Hospital. He was reported to be doing well yesterday afternoon.

"They train on a regular basis for this type of thing and happened to be there at the right time," Mr Ryan said.

"It's one of those things you don't expect to happen but when it does, their training comes into play."

The volunteers went through regular training to stay permanently prepared for the disasters that tore through the state during the 2011 floods, he said.

"We mainly do these flood operations. These boats are there to retrieve people if necessary and deliver supplies."

After the man was plucked from the drink, the volunteers continued their training until lunchtime.

Mr Ryan was expecting to obtain a full report from the SES team last night.


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