Soldiers and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers rescued a man while conducting welfare checks along Bungawalbin Creek in northern NSW.

Using an SES boat, soldiers and local SES volunteers travelled about 50km along the creek from Coraki to Yellow Crossing, finding Tony Butcher stranded along the Bungawalbin-Whiporie road.

Mr Butcher had hoped to ride out the flood waters.

“Usually, I stock up and stay during a flood, but as the days went by and the rain did not intend to stop, I was really hoping someone would come this way and help me evacuate,” Mr Butcher said.

“I did see some rescue helicopters, but I was concerned they could not land in my property.

“Some days later, I heard the SES boat and saw the Army uniforms coming up the river. I took my packed bag and ran to make contact with them and catch a ride back to Coraki.”

Mr Butcher said these floods were the highest in recorded history, topping the previous highest mark in 1954.  

Coraki SES commander Daniel Clark, left, is joined by Australian Army soldiers Sergeant Lachlan Youll, right, and Private Damian Conelius to conduct welfare checks with isolated communities along Bungawalbin Creek in northern New South Wales as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022. Photo: Corporal Sagi Biderman

The Army and SES personnel checked 20 properties only accessible via boat during a welfare check in the area.

SES Coraki commander Daniel Clark said his people welcomed the soldiers' assistance to help coordinate entry into the affected areas.

“Finding Tony was a testament of the unstoppable mission to assist our community in times of crisis,” Mr Clark said.

More than 6000 ADF personnel have surged into northern NSW and south-east Queensland areas to help local communities, government, SES and other emergency services respond to the floods. 

For more Operation Flood Assist 2022 imagery go to the Defence image gallery.