Campers washed out at Ballina
By NERIDA BLOK
THE NEXT time 13-year-old Sam Bolton goes camping he'll make sure his dad packs more tent pegs.
Sam said their four-man tent didn't fare too well during the wild storms on Monday night.
The Sunshine Coast youth had arrived earlier that day at Shaws Bay Caravan Park at Ballina for a surfing safari with mates Curtis Parter, 21, Jake Stone, 15, and Reece NovellaNewey, 16.
He described Monday afternoon's storm, which lasted just 10 minutes followed by four hours of rain, as 'cold, windy and scary'.
"We got a brick to hold things down as we ran out of pegs. Dad just didn't pack us enough," said Sam, unaware of weather forecasts that predicted the storms.
"We woke up this morning and the tent had collapsed on us.
"We tried to fix the support pole, but it snapped."
Two of the boys ended up sleeping in Curtis's car while the other two, Sam and Jake, huddled together under damp sleeping bags in their leaking tent.
"It's supposed to be waterproof," Jake groaned.
Curtis, who was looking after the boys, said they hadn't slept for 40 hours.
"But we're just excited and happy to get away from the Sunshine Coast," he said.
"It's the first time we've gone camping to- gether. Next time we might get a cabin."