27 October 2022

Gina the camel rescued from Riverina floodwaters

| Chris Roe
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man and camel

Fire and Rescue NSW rescued ‘Gina’ the camel near Moama on ‘humpday’ Wednesday. Photo: FRNSW.

It’s been a gruelling few weeks for emergency services across the state, but there was something to smile about for Fire and Rescue NSW crews near Moama this week as they retrieved “Gina the reluctant camel” from floodwaters.

On Wednesday FRNSW’s Foxtrot One in-water rescue team answered a call for help from Gina’s distressed owners and set out to track her down.

“Gina” had wandered away from her small herd on property near the rapidly rising Murray River and had ignored attempts to coax her away from the water’s edge.

Camel in flood

Rescuers waded waist-deep in floodwaters to lure Gina to safety. Photo: FRNSW.

While camels are famously drought resistant and can hold vast amounts of water in their hump, unfortunately the desert-dwelling mammals can’t swim.

The concerned owners and other locals had made repeated attempts to rescue Gina to no avail and reached out to FRNSW who were assisted by the State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue and Surf Life Savers.

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In a video of the rescue, dubbed “Humpday camel rescue” (as it conveniently took place on a Wednesday) team member Anthony Walgate, described the mission as they travelled from Moama Bridge to the camel farm.

“We’re just currently making our way upstream for a domestic animal rescue of a camel,” he explained as the dingy proceeded slowly up the river past a number of flooded homes and properties.

“As you can see, the river is up quite high at the moment and why we’re going so slow is so we don’t cause too much wash as that will then cause damage to people’s houses and the environment.”

rescue crew in boat

Specialist rescue teams are “prepared for anything”. Photo: FRNSW.

After an hour-long journey, the crew caught sight of the drifting dromedary and used their boats to create a barrier and corral her towards safety.

Rescue technicians waded up to their chests and used hay to lure Gina out of the floodwater and back to dry land where she was reunited with her herd.

The great dromedary drama putting Fire and Rescue NSW’s motto ‘Prepared for Anything’ to the test!

Original Article published by Chris Roe on Region Riverina.

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