Queensland floods: Thieves break into surfer Joel Parkinson’s home as he rescues victims
Heartless thieves break into surf champion’s home and steal his car as he helps save dozens of flood-ravaged victims
- Surfing champion Joel Parkinson saved dozens of people around the River Tweed
- When he returned home to the Gold Coast, his wife’s car had been stolen
- Queensland-NSW floods devastated communities around river systems
A world champion Australian surfer has returned home after rescuing victims from the raging River Tweed to find thieves have stolen his wife’s car.
Joel Parkinson rescued dozens of people stranded in floodwaters from the Queensland floods on his jet ski on Monday and Tuesday.
But when Parkinson returned home ‘exhausted’ to the Gold Coast, he found his house broken into and his wife Monica’s car had been taken.
Former world champion surfer Joel Parkinson has returned home after rescuing flood victims from a raging Tweed River to find thieves have stolen his wife Monica’s car
Parkinson rescued dozens of people stranded in floodwaters from the Queensland floods on his jet ski on Monday and Tuesday, particularly around Tumbulgum and Murwillumbah
Southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales are in the midst of a once-in-a-century flood crisis with dozens of river systems overwhelming low-lying communities after unprecedented rainfall.
“All day I’ve been helping people who were on the verge of losing their lives and their homes and coming home,” Parkinson told the Courier Mail.
While many people were trying to help, others “just wanted to hurt,” he said.
Parkinson, 40, and several surfer friends, including his former world champion Mick Fanning, helped people and pets in flooded homes in Tumbulgum and Murwillumbah.
Like many locals with personal watercraft, Parkinson and Fannings launched their jet skis from the River Tweed and drove to many homes in low-lying riverside communities.
Parkinson estimates they saved up to 40 people, six dogs, three cats and a few chickens.
“I’ve rescued cats, dogs, had 10-15 people on my ski, it’s been hectic, just picking up people, going to heights,” he said in a video.
In the video, Parkinson can be heard saying that the house in this footage is a two-story house – and that he was riding on vehicles to reach it
“We went to a farm which I thought was one story, the water was so high. But it was actually two floors and I was jet skiing over their cars to join them,’ Parkinson told the Courier Mail.
Among their successes were a man from a treehouse as well as a four-year-old child, his mother and their dog.
Parkinson and Fannings were joined in the jet ski rescues by Bede Durbidge, Mikey Wright and comedian Celeste Barber’s husband, Api Robin.
Parkinson said he could never look at the River Tweed the same way again, and he had never seen it so badly.