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Gympie region grandfather victim of fatal flood crossing

Father, grandfather and husband - Neil Andrews, 67, died in a flood incident near Gympie on Monday night.
Father, grandfather and husband - Neil Andrews, 67, died in a flood incident near Gympie on Monday night.

 

UPDATE, Tuesday 2pm:

IT IS believed the man who died when his car was swept off a causeway on a property at Mary's Creek last night was 67-year-old Neil Andrews. (pictured - photo courtesy Mr Andrews Facebook page)

Mr Andrews and his wife are believed to have been trying to make it home about 7pm last night (Monday) when their SUV was swept off the causeway by a strong current in flash flooding in Eel Creek.

The car became submerged and despite six hours of searching by emergency workers overnight, could not be located until this morning.

That section of Eel Creek through the mountainous Mary's Creek is known by locals to have a particularly strong and swift current when it floods.

Mr Andrews and his wife are believed to have been renting the property at Mary's Creek.

Our thoughts are with Mr Andrews' devastated family at this terrible time.

If it's flooded, forget it.

UPDATE: Tuesday 11am

IT HAS been confirmed the man who died in a tragic flash flooding incident at Mary's Creek overnight was a resident of Mary's Creek.

The 67-year-old man went missing about 7pm last night when his SUV was swept off a flooded causeway on a private property at Mary's Creek.

An extensive search by emergency workers failed to locate the vehicle after the alarm was raised by his distraught wife, but it was found when the search resumed at 6am today.

UPDATE Tuesday, 9am:

A 67-year-old man who went missing after his vehicle was swept away at Mary's Creek near Gympie has been found dead. 

Emergency workers retrieved the vehicle from an extremely rugged section of Eel Creek in the picturesque farming area of Mary's Creek, not far from Gympie.

Due to the steep embankment of Eel Creek a bobcat is being used to pull the SUV up out of the water.

The scene is about 150m inside a paddock on a private property at Mary's Creek, 3.5km from the turn-off on Eel Creek Road.

The man and his wife were travelling in separate cars along Mary's Creek Rd about 6.50pm when the man crossed a flooded causeway in his vehicle. IT is believe he travelled half way across before he became stranded.

When he attempted to remove his vehicle from the causeway it was swept away. Police and swift water rescue personnel recommenced their search at first light this morning and located a car submerged further down the creek just after 6am. The man was found inside deceased.

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UPDATE Tuesday, 7.30am:

THE car of a man who went missing in flood waters at Mary's Creek is believed to have been located and is about to be retrieved from the water.

Emergency workers spent six hours searching 6-8km of the creek banks and water last night in dangerous conditions. They were eventually forced to call the search off until first light today.

More details as they come to hand.

EARLIER:

THE search for a man swept away by floodwaters as his distressed wife watched on has now resumed after being suspended due to dangerous conditions.

Search crews spent about six hours overnight scouring the area in a bid to find the 67-year-old, who had been driving with his wife along Marys Creek Rd when they stopped at a flooded causeway just before 7pm.

 The 67-year-old had been driving with his wife along Marys Creek Rd when they stopped at a flooded causeway just before 7pm.

The couple exited the vehicle, but the man re-entered the vehicle in an attempt to drive it out. He and the vehicle were swept away by rising floodwaters.

His wife, who was uninjured in the incident, then alerted authorities, who remained on scene late on Monday night.

A swift water rescue boat was deployed, while SES crews scoured the lining banks.

"Preliminary information indicates the 67-year-old and his wife were travelling along Marys Creek Rd about 6.50pm when they stopped at a flooded causeway, exiting the vehicle," a police spokesman said.

"It is believed the man re-entered the car in an attempt to remove it from the causeway when it was swept away."

Search teams covered up to 8km of ground after walking up and down the creek bed but saw no sign of the man.

A police spokesman said the search was temporarily suspended as conditions were considered too dangerous, but resumed by 6.10am.

"The creek is still rising and water is flowing very fast," a police spokesman said.

An SES spokesman told Nine: "We had several swift water crews out here operating for over six hours, walking the banks under really difficult conditions.

"We are back here in better light today, it was getting dangerous last night, and ineffective to do it thoroughly."

Crews were also called to several other rescues in the Fraser Coast and Sunshine Coast regions.

 

Police and swift water rescue personnel were last night continuing their search for the man and the vehicle. 

His wife was not physically injured.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

UPDATE 10.30pm: A LARGE-SCALE rescue operation is under way to find a man missing in flood water south west of Gympie.

Members of the swift water rescue team, SES and Queensland Fire and Rescue Emergency Services are wading through water in search of a vehicle, believed to be occupied by a man in his 60s, that was swept off a Mary's Creek Rd causeway into Eel Creek about 7pm.

QFRES Inspector Kent Mayne said the large-scale operation involved 16 QFRES officers, four swift water rescue personnel, seven SES workers and Queensland police officers.

The search is believed to be stretching over several hundred metres of waterway along the creek, that is not rising but still moving swiftly.

Insp Mayne said the mission was likely to take some time.

Emergency workers are using portable flood lights and hand held torches to aid the search.

Swift  water rescue team is on  the scene at a Mary's Creek farm where a car has been swept away in flash flooding.
Swift water rescue team is on the scene at a Mary's Creek farm where a car has been swept away in flash flooding. Tom Daunt

UPDATE 8.45pm: QUEENSLAND Fire and Rescue Service officers, swift water operators and SES officers have entered the water to search for a man missing in flood waters at Mary's Creek.

They have expanded their search to the banks of a fast-flowing creek at Mary's Creek in an attempt to locate what is believed a four wheel drive the man, thought to be in his 60s, was in when it was swept from a crossing.

More information to follow.

8.15pm: EMERGENCY services are on the scene at Mary's Creek after a vehicle was swept away in flash flood waters on a farm tonight.

Swift water rescue operators from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are currently preparing to deploy into the fast moving flood water in an attempt to locate the vehicle.

It is believed the occupant of the vehicle is a man in his 60s.

The car was reportedly washed off Mary's Creek bridge, south west of Gympie about 7pm tonight.

The incident is still unfolding.

More information as it comes to hand.

 

Swift  water rescue team is on  the scene at a Mary's Creek farm where a car has been swept away in flash flooding.
Swift water rescue team is on the scene at a Mary's Creek farm where a car has been swept away in flash flooding. Tom Daunt

Topics:  editors picks flooding general-seniors-news gympie weather

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