‘Do something’: Heroic veteran saves the day
A GOOD Samaritan who saved the life of an elderly man who fell into Ross Creek while trying to save his dog hopes other local residents would do the same thing he did.
Joel Munro was celebrating his last day in the ADF earlier this month when he heard cries for help while playing video games in his seventh floor Palmer Street apartment.
Other onlookers near the water could be seen on their phones watching the scene unfold, but Mr Munro's actions were decisive as he ran to the end of the marina in Ross Creek and helped pull the elderly man from the water.
The rescued man, who only wanted to be known as Dave, credits Mr Munro for saving his life and the life of 16-year-old stumpy tail cattle dog Vixen, who both spent close to an hour in the water.
"It's good to see there's good people still out there," Dave said.
"I was happy … I just couldn't let him (Vixen) drown after he slipped in, so I had to go in after him.
"Someone came along and he (Mr Munro) got me out. He's a good person."
Dave was reluctant to talk any further, but Mr Munro said the elderly boat crew member was in serious trouble by the time he arrived at the scene.
"I heard these bloodcurdling screams through my headphones; I went out to the balcony and I could hear 'help, help' over and over again.
"There was a group of people nearby and I yelled out 'have you called for help' and they said 'no, we're not from here'.
"There were heaps of people out on their balconies."
Another person was seen watching the situation and making a call on his phone, but - to Mr Munro's dismay - that person walked off.
Mr Munro launched into action and ran down to the end of the marina, a sprint of about 1km, to get to Dave and his dog, who were close to exhaustion.
Dave had desperately tried to get himself out of the water, trying to find any sort of grip to haul himself up on to the marina or a nearby boat, but to no avail.
"He (Dave) was in the water with the dog in his arm," Mr Munro said.
"Unfortunately he didn't have too much energy … we got the dog out and him out," Mr Munro said.
"The unfortunate thing is this all happened at a time of night when boat owners are all out to dinner, and the lights were out … it's one of those things where everything lined up in the worst way."
Dave and Vixen emerged from the ordeal exhausted but in one piece, with Dave treated by paramedics for cuts and abrasions.
In a happy ending, Mr Munro and Dave reunited last week for some drinks aboard Dave's boat.
"Townsville still has that sense of community, and I absolutely love the place," Mr Munro said.
"But I want the message to be that, if you hear or see something that isn't right, do something about it."
Originally published as 'Do something': Heroic veteran saves the day