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Swiss tourists who tried to drive through floodwaters rescued in WA's Pilbara

Wednesday May 7, 2014 - 08:47 EST
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A Swiss couple are helped through floodwaters in the Pilbara by WA police. - ABC

Two European tourists have been plucked from floodwaters in the Pilbara by West Australian police.

About 3:30pm (AWST) police received information from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra about a distress signal detected south of Karratha.

The signal was pinpointed with a GPS tracker on the Roebourne-Wittenoom Road, 15 kilometres south of the North West Coastal Highway.

Many roads in the area had been closed due to recent torrential rain.

Police said a 65-year-old Swiss woman and her 67-year-old husband had tried to cross a flooded area in their rental car, but the rapid current swept the vehicle off the road and they became stranded in waist-high water.

"Police needed to cross several large flooded areas to reach the stranded tourists," police spokesman Neil Stanbury said.

A helicopter was brought in to help rescue the couple, but officers ultimately entered the water on foot and assisted them across the river.

"No medical issues have come to light and the vehicle has not been recovered due to rising floodwater," Mr Stanbury said.

"Both were conveyed to Roebourne for checks and will spend the night in Karratha."


© ABC 2014

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