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Rescuers rush to help group stranded by floods
Cassandra, left, Annabelle, Ben and Matilda arrive back in Halls Creek after being rescued. Picture: Brett Perkins

A father stranded in a car with his five children since Friday in outback WA walked 7km and swam a swollen river to get help.

Details of the man's journey for help emerged as a rescue helicopter reached the group and returned them to Halls Creek.

The group of four, with children aged three to 11, and another man were travelling from Darwin to Halls Creek along the unsealed Duncan Highway.

Torrential rain over the past seven days made the road conditions dangerous and impassable.

The other man in the group walked up to 50km in a bid to get help.

Police believe that by today the group had little water and no food after becoming stranded.

Three of the children have medical conditions. Two are believed to have asthma and had run out of medication.

The father of five battled across the swollen and fast-moving Nicholson River to reach the homestead at Nicholson Station for help early this morning.

Lee Scott-Virtue and her husband Dean Goodgame heard the man's pleas for help as he reached the river bank.

They tried to take their vehicle with food, water and medication back across the flooded waterway to help him but it was too dangerous.

They called Halls Creek police to raise the alarm.

They said the anxious father wanted to get back to his children and decided fuel was what he needed the most, swimming back across the river carrying a 20 litre container.

“It’s very swift and very dangerous at the moment,” Ms Scott-Virtue said. “In just over four days we’ve had almost 300mm of rain and the Nicholson, as of yesterday, was still 1km across.

“It’s gone down quite a bit and he’s only had two sections to swim but we couldn’t get across it.

“He was unbelievably tenacious… he used parts of the barbed wire fence to stop himself from being swept down the river.”

“He seemed very tired but he seemed really anxious to get back to the children and he was probably running on adrenalin.”

He told them the bogged four-wheel drive was about 7km away.

She said the man told her husband Dean they had run out of water and were boiling what they could collect.

“We’ve just come out of a dry season and there are quite a lot of dead cattle around so the water can be contaminated,” she said.

Ms Scott-Virtue, the president and founder of Kimberley Toadbusters, said they had been isolated at the station for almost two weeks before of the weather – with a mail plane unable to lane on the sodden air strip.

She said the road heading towards Halls Creek was muddy, sludgy and very boggy.

The man told Mr Goodgame that he had burned two spare tyres to try to send up smoke signals to raise the alarm.

A search plane was sent up at first light this morning and the vehicle was located.

A helicopter reached the group this morning.

The two men and five children, aged three to 11, were travelling from Darwin to Halls Creek along the Duncan Highway, which is an unsealed road.

Due to the torrential rain over the past seven days road conditions have become dangerous and impassable.

The vehicle encountered flooded streams and broke down about 90km north of the Ringer Soak Community on Friday.

One of the men headed off on foot to get help.

Police said initial information suggested he walked about 50km before he was found by a youth worker about 20km from the Ringer Soak Community some time yesterday afternoon.

Police were alerted to the emergency situation late yesterday.

The group is thought to have had enough food and water for three days when they left on Friday.