Nominated for bravery in ’13 flood
VOLUNTEER lifesaver Robert Scott didn't expect his patrol at Moore Park Beach on January 28 last year would have extended beyond the beach.
But he soon found himself in an inflatable rescue boat (IRB) in the middle of a fast-flowing river that had overtaken Queen St in North Bundaberg, working desperately to pull people from their homes.
His actions on that day have led to him t being one of two Bundaberg residents to receive the Governor General's Australian Bravery Award.
"A lot of people didn't want to leave their homes so we had to convince them," he said.
Mr Scott's official citation says he navigated the boat through fast flowing, debris-laden water, entering the water several times to move the boat over submerged obstacles.
In one case, he navigated the boat to a damaged house containing a dead woman.
Mr Scott kept the boat steady, despite challenges posed by the compromised structure and underwater hazards, while emergency services' officers found the body and prepared it for removal.
"During the day I'd go out and do rescues and searches in the IRB and at night I'd work in the clinic at Oakwood," Mr Scott, who is also a clinical nurse at the Bundaberg Hospital, said.
Like many who risked their own safety during that time, Mr Scott said he didn't regard his actions were brave.
"It had to be done," he said.
Mr Scott said he recalled many other people with their boats, going back and forth rescuing total strangers.
"People were selfless on that day - they weren't looking out for themselves," he said.
"It restores your faith in the community."
Mr Scott said he was humbled to have been nominated for the award by the swift water rescue team.
"I find it a bit embarrassing but at the same time, very humbling," he said.