MUDDY HELL! Luck on man's side after rescue goes wrong
A RESCUER being in the right place at the right time may have saved the life of an elderly Buderim man.
There is no telling how long the man would have gone unnoticed after slipping and falling into Mountain Creek behind the Ballinger Park Sports Complex.
He had become lodged in thick mud between a rock and some tree roots.
By chance, project manager Chris Fenaughty pulled up at the nearby tennis club about 1.30pm to oversee renovation work when he heard shouting from the nearby bushland.
He called back and eventually discovered the elderly man.
Mr Fenaughty and several workers went down to try to pull the man to freedom but were unsuccessful.
They called local firefighters who arrived with shovels to help dig him out.
It was believed the man had gone to the creek to retrieve his dog which had become stuck, and then had fallen in himself.
Mr Fenaughty wondered how long the man would have been stuck had he not arrived when he did.
"The other guys were doing a job at the tennis club but didn't hear anything from the other side of the building," Mr Fenaughty said.
"Who knows how long he would have been there if I hadn't arrived when I did."
Maroochydore fire station officer Steve Pasterfield said firefighters had worked for about an hour to free the man, using shovels in the mud and cutting tree roots to make it easier for him to stand.
The man was eventually freed and able to walk out of the creek with the assistance of paramedics and firefighters.
Paramedics assessed him at the scene but gave him the all-clear.
His dog was also unharmed.