Tourists swept away after kayak capsizes at Silky Oaks


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Four people have escaped without serious injury after being swept down the Mossman Gorge River at Silky Oaks Lodge. IMAGE: Queensland Blog

FOUR people have escaped serious injury after being swept down the Mossman River at luxury resort Silky Oaks.

Three tourists were kayaking at the popular eco lodge just before 5pm yesterday when their vessel capsized due to rapidly changing river conditions. A resort staff member rushed to their aid only to be swept away himself, prompting an emergency call out.

Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the scene to conduct a swift water rescue and located the quartet around 100 metres downstream from Silky Oaks, according to Rory Kelliher from the Port Douglas Fire Station.

“Upon arrival we were quickly able to identify three people but we had initial concerns for the fourth person,” Kelliher said.

“Fortunately we we were able to locate her a little further down the river and transport them all by boat to safety.”

All four were treated at the scene but had no injuries of concern. Kelliher said it was a timely reminder of how volatile the conditions can become in the region's waterways.

“It just shows how quickly the conditions can change,” he said.

“The river jacked up quite quickly yesterday, and it doesn’t even have to be raining in the area where people are swimming. The water can come from a lot further down.”