Sydney floods: Man and five puppies saved in incredible rescue

·3-min read

A remarkable rescue was pulled off during treacherous flash flooding, south of Sydney, as crews worked to save a man and five puppies from a submerged vehicle.

On Thursday, emergency services were called to the Kangaroo Valley in NSW following reports a car had been washed off the road.

NSW Rural Fire Service had a helicopter in the air and assessed what they were up against.

Damien Cutmore from the NSWRFS was the one who was able to wince the man to safety.

He told the Today Show there was an opening through the branches and he was able to get down onto the bonnet of the car, with the help of the pilot and crewmen.

Pictured is the car submerged in floodwaters in Kangaroo Valley, NSW
A man was trapped in a submerged vehicle with five puppies at Kangaroo Valley on Thursday. Source: The Today Show

"It was looking a little bit impossible," Mr Cutmore said.

"To start with we got over the top and the planets aligned, and we had a bit of a hole down through some branches that we could get into the vehicle itself."

Chad Wallace, from the NSW Fire and Rescue, said it was a coordinated response and the pressure was on the moment everyone was on site.

He said the helicopter joining the rescue from above was a "a sight for sore eyes", for the victim and emergency crews.

"It was life and death, it was seconds from tragedy and we've all seen so much in the last two months," he said.

Pictured is local Steven Greenhill with the puppies he rescued from the vehicle
Steven Greenhill went into the water to rescue the dogs from the car. Source: The Today Show

'Couldn't live with ourselves': local's rescue puppies

The man from the vehicle was lifted to safety, however, five puppies remained in the vehicle.

Rescue crews were concerned they would not be able to recover the dogs, due to the dangerous conditions.

However, a group of locals were determined to save the pups and came up with a plan to get them out of the car.

Jamie Salkeld told Today, he and some other locals had heard the commotion with the helicopter but knew the crews couldn't get to them from the side of the river they were on.

Steven Greenhill said he didn't like how high the water level was, so he went home, grabbed a harness and some rope and rigged something up to wade into the water.

After the water dropped a little bit, the locals were then able to get the dogs out, Mr Salkeld said the dogs were "pretty happy" to see them.

The dogs and the man from the vehicle were unharmed following the incident.

The puppies and the man were okay after the successful rescue. Source: The Today Show
The puppies and the man were okay after the successful rescue. Source: The Today Show

Man dies in floodwaters at Cobbity

More than 150 NSW schools have been closed after a torrential downpour prompted evacuations in Sydney's south and west.

Evacuation orders were issued on Friday for people in Cornwallis and the eastern part of Richmond lowlands as well as low-lying parts of Cattai, Pitt Town, Pitt Town Bottoms and Agnes Banks.

Residents in Camden and Chipping Norton in Sydney's southwest and Woronora, Bonnet Bay and Gronos Point were earlier ordered to evacuate as floodwaters began to rise on Thursday.

On Friday morning, it was confirmed a man died in floodwaters just southwest of Sydney.

Just before 8am on Friday, a police operation was underway to retrieve the man's body, after his vehicle was found submerged in Cobbity.

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