‘I can still hear the cries for help’
BELLMERE mother Karlena Parker was driving home from night shift when she heard the cries of help from two women who had plunged their car into Caboolture River.
The women were stuck in their car, which was quickly sinking and were unable to swim.
Ms Parker was reluctant to talk about events last Sunday morning, but has now shared in her own words the most detailed account of the rescue.
"There are no words I can describe that morning at 7.24am, coming home from work.
"If I had not done a detour instead of going the way I generally do, it could have ended tragically.
"It just wasn't those two ladies' time.
"But I can't think of'what if?' It all ended well and that is what I need to tell myself even if I can still picture and hear the cries for help.
"Luckily for the other guy stopping and helping … two lives definitely would have been lost otherwise as there was no way was I going to be able to save both and myself.
"It's not every day you see a car in the Caboolture River and especially with two young girls screaming for help. I thought I was seeing things.
"Had I had my music and windows up I would never have heard them nor even looked at the river.
"Coming around that corner is a day I will never forget.
"What I had seen and witnessed that very day will stay with me for the rest of my life - a car floating and two young girls hanging out the window before their car sunks and went under right before my eyes.
"While trying to wave people down for help as they passed by, not knowing two lives were in danger, I was on the phone to triple-0 in a panic.
"But drivers just looked and kept going.
"Two and a half minutes was all it took for the car to go under with them in it and me reassuring them help was on the way and to stay up.
"Before I knew it someone had stopped and dived straight in once he saw my panic.
"Not long after, he yelled 'get in' and I was in the water as they were in more serious trouble.
"Not knowing they were not strong swimmers, those two girls did amazing in a scary situation like that where it could've ended with them drowning and no one would've ever known, as by that stage the car had gone under.
"I don't see myself as a hero. Everyone says to me 'but you saved two lives'.
"It's been a week since this has happened I am still trying to get my head around the whole thing.
"I still have visions of the car sinking and the two young ladies screaming.
"But I kept telling myself they are alive and that is all that matters.
"All I know if it hadn't been for Simon stopping and helping me that very day, two bodies possibly three would not have been here that morning and my babies would not have been none the wiser besides waiting for me to come home.
"I can't thank him enough for that morning and stopping, it was a good outcome.
"Just glad those two ladies were able to be rescued."