Ken Madsen was on the scene when a shark jumped in a boat in the Proserpine River  on October 5. A crocodile was also on the riverbank and Mr Madsen is pointing to where the crocodile was sunning itself behind the rocks in the water.
Ken Madsen was on the scene when a shark jumped in a boat in the Proserpine River on October 5. A crocodile was also on the riverbank and Mr Madsen is pointing to where the crocodile was sunning itself behind the rocks in the water. Monique Preston

Top 10 quirky yarns from the Whitsundays

THE New Year marks six months since I started as editor of the Whitsunday Times, Whitsunday Coast Guardian and the Bowen Independent.

It has been a period marked by tragedy and triumphs, but with the spirit of the New Year in mind, here is a look at my top 10 quirky yarns from the Whitsundays since July 2018.

10. Pop goes the python

Jubilee Pocket woman Marlene Manto's surprise find in the plughole of her bathtub was a story which attracted plenty of attention in late December.

This is the first of four stories written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp, and is also the first of two stories featuring pythons in the top 10.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/pop-goes-the-python/3599514/

9. Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after 63 years

After more than six decades apart, a Cannonvale woman met her step-brother for the first time following a 15-year search.

This yarn on Annette De-Lisle's search for Brian Poulton from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp was a cracker.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/long-lost-siblings-meet-for-the-first-time-after-6/3525223/

8. Tiny frog's miracle recovery

The tale of a remarkable green tree frog, who made a miracle recovery after being found with a lung outside of its body following a brush with a whipper-snipper in November.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/green-tree-frog-recovers-after-whipper-snipper-rip/3584757/

Aydan Wyse is responsible for the yellow plastic bags full of rubbish seen along Shute Harbour Road in Airlie Beach. The one-man rubbish warrior has been collecting rubbish in NSW and Queensland towns for the past eight to 12 months.
Aydan Wyse is responsible for the yellow plastic bags full of rubbish seen along Shute Harbour Road in Airlie Beach. The one-man rubbish warrior has been collecting rubbish in NSW and Queensland towns for the past eight to 12 months. Monique Preston

7. The rubbish warrior

I loved this story from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Monique Preston about Aydan Wyse, the 32-year-old who spent much of 2018 cleaning up roadsides wherever he visits.

His efforts were warmly received by the Whitsundays public.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/cleaning-up-is-wyse-choice/3524251/

6. Fate reunites woman and saviour after six decades

This remarkable yarn from Bowen Independent reporter Kyle Evans about Victorian woman Helen Perikkentis and her meeting with a Bowen man who six decades earlier rescued her from kidnappers.

To borrow a line from Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour, and have a read.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/fate-reunites-woman-and-saviour-after-six-decades/3535238/?fbclid=IwAR3H3b8UXmDgY5wRmh0ZIlSWBwJy-y_uON3Dm8UY2kmmBiOpgn9Hk1LXPiw

5. Winner winner, chickens and a rooster for dinner

A Flametree resident got quite the shock when she went out to feed her beloved chooks and found a 3.5 metre python curled up in the pen in November in this story from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Georgia Simpson.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/winner-winner-chickens-and-a-rooster-for-dinner/3576554/

A bus rolled over the road edge at Shute Harbour in November.
A bus rolled over the road edge at Shute Harbour in November. Brodie Jackson

4. Living on the edge

November delivered this yarn about a public bus which got stuck on the rocks at Shute Harbour written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Monique Preston.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/living-on-the-edge/3581381/

BEACH GOER: The Member for Whitsunday, Jason Costigan, returns to the beach made famous by the World Bikini Day social media post.
BEACH GOER: The Member for Whitsunday, Jason Costigan, returns to the beach made famous by the World Bikini Day social media post. Peter Carruthers

3. Bikini Gate

Barely a week after my arrival, Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan found himself at the centre of a national and international storm after posting a video of himself bookended by two bikini-clad tourists at the Airlie Beach Foreshore.

Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad condemned the "celebrating” of World Bikini Day on Twitter and Facebook.

Then Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian senior reporter Peter Carruthers, now based at the Cairns Post, covered the story extensively.

Bikini Gate dominated headlines in the national television and press, gained extensive coverage across most North Queensland radio networks and received a mention in the international media through the Daily Mail website.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/mp-bikini-reaction-is-political-correctness-on-ste/3462503/

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/any-publicity-is-good-publicity-in-bikini-gate-was/3464710/

2. Caught between a croc and a shark place

As someone that spent six years working for the NT News, I love a good croc yarn.

Sure, the Proserpine River is renowned for having its fair share of crocs, but this story from October from Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp had an extra twist as you can tell by the headline.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/caught-between-a-croc-and-a-shark-place/3549157/

Backpackers got more out of their trip to Gloucester Island than they were hoping for.
Backpackers got more out of their trip to Gloucester Island than they were hoping for. CONTRIBUTED

1. Backpackers deflated after island adventure falls flat

Clearly my top pick as the quirkiest story of the year was written by Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter Claudia Alp in September.

This tale of four backpackers who were left stranded on Gloucester Island after the blow-up mattress they used to float across sprang a leak.

It was a story picked up by a variety of other news outlets across Australia and the world.

https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/backpackers-deflated-after-island-adventure-falls-/3513152/


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