MAIDEN VOYAGE: The Thargomindah SES flood boat was in use for the first time ever, when the town experienced a dry flood last week.
MAIDEN VOYAGE: The Thargomindah SES flood boat was in use for the first time ever, when the town experienced a dry flood last week. Bulloo Shire Council

Thargo's flood boat becomes a vital service on maiden voyage

A PRECIOUS few drops of rain fell in Thargomindah before the Bulloo River finally broke its banks at 5.45m.

Last week, the local SES crew launched its new flood boat for the first time, and it quickly became the most vital service in town.

"The mayor wanted to keep traffic going through the town to keep our local economy going and make sure we weren't too isolated,” local SES controller Daniel Grey said.

"We were ferrying people back and forth to town, and some people had to go away for personal reasons.

"We were working to make sure the isolation during the flood wasn't so bad.

"Most of our work was shuttling people across because we had quite a few employees who needed access to the flood boat.

"Another one of the things we were doing was bringing supplies into the town.

"The mail truck could get to us from Cunnamulla and then we would just unload the truck into the boat and bring it across.”

Thargomindah SES acquired its flood boat in 2017 and it's been ready to go for an emergency ever since.

"Getting a boat for our crew wasn't really difficult, the SES looks after us pretty well out in this country, but we weren't expecting to use it for quite a while,” Mr Grey said.

"We pulled the flood boat out when the river got to a point where we couldn't use the flood truck and it was the first time we had launched the boat for flood operations, but we have done a couple of training runs in it.”

After four days, the SES crew has put the boat back in its shed but volunteers are still on alert.

"Now we are back to just using the flood truck and are basically working on a wait and see basis,” he said.

"The crew is very helpful, they have their personal lives but if they are needed they're quite happy to help.”