The wife of a Tasmanian man who died in floods in 2016 told police that the flood that killed her husband “came so fast” and she had “never seen anything like it before”.
- Trevor Foster, 81, died after being swept away in floods on his Ouse farm in 2016
- He was feeding sheep at the time and initially did not approach the water, a study has heard
- Sir. Foster’s body was not found until two years after his death
Trevor Foster, 81, died on June 6, 2016, when floods swept his property near Ouse in southern Tasmania.
A statement from his wife, Helen, was read out in connection with an investigation into his death at the Hobart Coroner’s Court on Thursday.
Ms Foster died before the investigation started this week.
Her statement said Mr Foster was feeding sheep when she woke up at 7:45 on the morning of his death.
She said she first noticed that the Ouse River was flooded before it began flowing into their property on Cluny Street.
“I noticed it was a foot deep and rolled over the dry ground,” her statement said.
“The water came so fast and with a hiss. I had never seen anything like it before.”
She said Mr Foster had his back to the water at the time, but it was of no use shouting as he was hard of hearing.
After noticing the flood, Ms. Foster said her husband briefly stood on the property fence before returning to the ground as his feet were swept out from under him.
“I did not see Trevor after that.”
The body not found for two years
The investigation has also heard from the police involved in the rescue effort, which described the extensive air and ground search to find Mr. Fetus. His body was first found in 2018.
Several officers told the investigation of the huge amounts of dirt flowing through the floods.
Bushy Park police officer Paul Britten said he had lived in the area all his life and never seen anything like the 2016 flood that left properties “like a lunar landscape in the days after”.
“When you looked at something in the water, it went by so fast, it was a raging current,” he said.
“We saw two tiger snakes that had been flushed out of their holes and it was the middle of winter.”
The investigation was told that search and rescue teams did not have access to fast water rescue materials at the time and they had not been purchased since.
Tasmania Police Senior Sergeant Adrian Leary told forensic scientist Simon Cooper that he did not believe additional equipment or resources would have helped during the 2016 search.
“The police operation was pretty standard, and the search and rescue personnel did as much as they could, in my opinion,” senior sergeant Leary told the investigation.
“They are very good at their jobs and I trusted that they could do their job efficiently.”
Sir. Foster death is being investigated along with the death of Peter John Watson, who died in floods in northern Tasmania, also in 2016.
The joint investigation continues Friday.
Posted , up to date