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Flood relief efforts across the state continued in earnest this week, with volunteer lifesavers deployed to assist SES in daily taskings and distress calls.

In Moama, west of Albury on the NSW-Victoria border, those efforts took a unique shape on Wednesday 26 October, when volunteers were tasked to a camel in distress as it waded through increasingly deep flood waters.

“I’ve been doing surf life saving for a long time but this one just blew me away,” Thirroul SLSC member, Anthony Turner said.

“Naturally it’s all flooded through there and if it [the camel] went into deep water, it would’ve drowned.

“We were able to coach it into the shallower water and along the fence line of the paddock where it lived.

“It must have been spooked by the water and gone wandering and the owner just couldn’t bring it back.

“Everyone from Fire and Rescue NSW to the SES worked really well together on this incident, working collaboratively in difficult conditions.

“We dropped off some food for it as well – it’s just lucky and a relief we were able to get it back to the shed and away from the water where it could have drowned.”

Taskings have taken many shapes over the past week for volunteers, with concerns for welfare and emergency calls for stranded persons requiring constant vigilance.

Despite this, there is still high spirits among residents.

“The community has been really resilient, a lot of them have their heads up even though they’re exhausted,” Anthony said.

“All agencies are very professional and keeping things safe, debriefing, and making sure we’re safe as well as those we’re responding to.

“We’re all watching each other’s back, working closely and working as a team.”

In what is Anthony’s first flood deployment, he said it has been challenging and rewarding, and a good measure of the skills he has developed as a lifesaver.

“It’s definitely been an eye opener and it highlights how good our capabilities are in the water, our abilities in driving boats and the hazards in the waterways which shows we can be of value in so many areas,” he said.

Friday 28 October 2022