Man rescued in Australia after 10 hours clinging to tree in floodwaters

Xinhua
A man in Australia is lucky to be alive on Tuesday, after spending the night clinging to a tree in floodwaters.
Xinhua

A man in Australia is lucky to be alive on Tuesday, after spending the night clinging to a tree in floodwaters.

Battered by a low pressure system bringing record rainfall and damaging winds, several drought-affected, bone-dry rivers near the township of Bega in New South Wales State were instantly turned into roaring rapids in a matter of hours.

Walking near the Brogo River at around 6:00pm local time on Monday, the man was quickly swept away by the rising floodwaters.

Desperately trying to stay afloat, he grabbed onto a tree where he stayed until 4:00 a.m. this morning, until a local resident spotted the man and called for help.

"He wasn't in great condition when we pulled him out," local State Emergency Service Commander Michelle De Frisbom told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"He was suffering the effect of hypothermia ... even though it wasn't that cold."

"He had been in the water for quite a number of hours ... he is one very lucky man."

Able to be helped from the water by boat, the man was just one of around 260 flood rescues that have taken place on Australia’s east coast over the past few days.

Forecasters predict more severe weather could strike later in the week, putting more pressure on emergency services.

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