Crocs no hitch for Far North dad
DARREN Morey's new leather thongs have probably seen better days.
The Atherton dairy farmer shied away from being hailed a hero yesterday after he swam two croc-infested rivers and walked 25km to get help for his young family trapped by rising floodwaters on Cape York.
"I just kept going," he said. "I knew I couldn't stop. You've just got to do what you've got to do."
He, wife Narelle, and their four children Madison, 12, Courtney, 9, Kaiden, 6, and Jed, 5, had decided to take a day trip to Lakefield National Park on Sunday with plans of returning there later this year to camp.
Less than an hour after entering the park they returned to the bridge over the Laura River to find a raging, impassable torrent.
With no food, no water and no phone service the family spent a painful and humid night in their four-wheel drive, trying to ward off swarms of mosquitoes.
"The car got a flat battery, I think from us repeatedly putting the windows up and down, as it was so hot and humid, but the mozzies kept coming in," Mr Morey said.
"Apparently two hours after I went, the car was under water and the family was there watching it happen."
He said crocodiles did not even cross his mind as he waded, arm-pit deep through the fast-flowing waterway before continuing the long walk down to Olive Vale station, just outside of Laura.
He called police from the station and the Emergency Management Queensland helicopter came from Cairns to pick up his stranded family before collecting him.
The family returned to their Tableland home yesterday, uninjured but still coming to terms with their overnight ordeal.
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Safe: The Morey family back in Atherton after being rescued from floodwaters near Laura.