Kids dicing with death

These children are one slippery step away from going over the edge, near the Fitzroy Barrage with fast-flowing water, on Saturday.
These children are one slippery step away from going over the edge, near the Fitzroy Barrage with fast-flowing water, on Saturday. Contributed

THESE youths were one slippery step away from certain death and potentially endangering the lives of rescuers.

The photographs, taken on Saturday by a local resident, show the boys playing within metres of fast-flowing water at the Fitzroy Barrage.

The images have sparked warnings from emergency service personnel and Rockhampton Regional Council's water committee chairman.

And they come days after a Roma mother died, swept away by floodwaters.

The youths had no self-preservation, according to Rockhampton Police Station's officer-in-charge, Acting Senior Sergeant Craig Smith.

"If they needed rescuing, they would have put Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, police and SES personnel in further danger in having to enter the water to rescue them," he said.

Emergency Management Queensland Central region director Wayne Hepple has urged people to stay away from fast-flowing water, including stormwater drains.

"The flow will stay up for a while, so it's stronger than normal," he said.

Mr Hepple said one of the dangers, besides being swept away by the fast-flowing waters, was debris under the water's surface.

"It's a difficult environment. It's a risk to our volunteers."

Water committee chairman Greg Belz has urged people to act safely and responsibly around all water.

"Any body of water is very unforgiving for those who don't treat it with respect and underestimate its strength and dangers," he said.

"With the increased flow rate in the river, people should stay away from its edge, because one slip can mean tragedy.

"No one wants to see any tragedy around fast-flowing water and commonsense should prevail in any situation of potential danger.

"Many children are naturally curious and risk takers, but a 2m high, chain wire fence and 'keep out' signage is surely a very clear message not to go inside the fence.

"Council representatives will also be consulting with southside residents near the barrage, in the near future, to discuss possible solutions to prevent access to the barrage infrastructure on the south side."


Fast flow deaths

  • On December 3, 2010 Bajool farmer Alan Kane, 81, died after the ute he was driving was swept into Station Creek by floodwaters.
  • January 1, 2011 a 62-year-old man, believed to be from Ballarat, died after the 19-year-old male driver tried to drive over a flooded causeway on the Aramac-Torrens Creek Rd and his vehicle got swept away.
  • A 38-year-old Gladstone fisherman drowned after waters in the Boyne Rivers rose faster than expected.

Topics:  children danger fitzroy barrage rockhampton safety

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