For the bus driver, it may have seemed as though he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, luckily for him, three Police officers were in the right place at the right time.
It was 6.45pm Sunday in Cairns, and the driver of the empty tourist bus, 36, had just crashed into a local creek known to inhabit crocodiles.
His vehicle was filling with water, Police explain in a statement.
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A passing police patrol, containing three plain clothes officers, was able to get to Smiths Creek on Fearnley Street within moment.
“With no time to wait as the bus was filling with water and sinking into the mangrove mud, an officer stood on either side of the river looking for crocodiles, while the third officer entered the murky waters to rescue those on-board.”
“Two other police patrols and the District Duty Officer, were on the scene within minutes, shining car headlights into the water to help illuminate the bus as police determined how many people were on the bus, and to help search for crocodiles.
“Fortunately, the bus was empty except for the male driver, who was trapped inside the cabin.
“It took several attempts before the officer was able to drag the driver out through the windscreen and to the safety of the embankment.”
Police provided first aid to the driver, before he was transported to Cairns Base Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Senior Sergeant Duane Amos, Far North District Duty Officer said the quick thinking of the officers involved likely saved the life of the bus driver.
“The rapid response by the officers, seeing the bus sinking and flooding the compartment area, has averted a tragedy on the quickly submerging bus.”