Posted in: Australia News

Baby Toted To Safety In Gym Bag While Flood Waters Rise [Video]

When flood waters rose, rescuers lifted a toddler to safety in a gym bag.

Australia – With the floods and heatwaves taking Australia by storm, one 14-month-old made headlines after being rescued from the back of a pickup truck caught in flood waters near Biloela.

The tyke was stranded with his mother and her friend when the truck got stuck in rapidly rising waters. When the helicopter rescuers came, they quickly realized the baby wouldn’t fit in the safety harness generally used for helicopter rescues. So with some quick thinking, little Luke Collie’s mom worked with a rescuer to put the tot in a waterproof gym bag. He was then hauled up to the helicopter as rescuers returned for his mother, Robin, her friend, and a dog.

Video footage of the event shows the red-faced tyke crying as the back is unzipped in the helicopter, but his mother, Robin, notes that he was fine as soon as he was reunited with his mommy.

“He was fine until he got taken up in the chopper and lost sight of mum,” Collie, 22, told The Courier-Mail. “As soon as I was in the chopper he was laughing and playing.”

Collie, who is expecting another child, along her her son and friend Donna were driving through a lightly flooded road when they turned a corner and ran into a submerged tree branch and became stuck. The waters rapidly began to rise, and the women called emergency services. Donna’s husband arrived with a dinghy to rescue them as a helicopter appeared.

“I was on the phone to the emergency services guys the whole time,” she said. “They do a great job of keeping you updated. They keep everyone calm and are really professional.”

The group was taken to dry land where rescuers were forced to leave the family’s border collie, Marley, while the family was taken to the hospital. However, the 8-year-old family pet was retrieved after nearly 36 hours alone.

“She’s alive and well and she’s home,” Collie said. “I told her to stay there and she always listens to me and she stayed right there. She had plenty of water and shade, she just had no tucker but she was nice and tubby.”

The family is well, and little Luke is now an international sensation.

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