Luck by name and lucky by nature
NO ONE has to tell Ivan Luck he had a miraculous escape when his boat got away from him while he was fishing in a creek on Fraser Island last week – and he wants to thank the people who saved his life.
Mr Luck, 72, left his boat on half throttle and reached for a plastic bag while he was checking the crab pots he had brought with him. He lost his grip on the steering wheel for an instant.
The boat accelerated forward and Mr Luck, who is from River Heads, lost his balance and was thrown into the water. He could only watch while the boat circled wildly around him.
“He doesn’t know how it missed him,” Mr Luck’s daughter, Narelle Evans, said yesterday.
Mr Luck realised he wouldn’t be able to get back into the boat but he also knew that he had quite a swim in front of him if he was to reach the bank of the creek.
It took Mr Luck an hour and a half to reach the bank of the creek and said towards the end he felt he wouldn’t make it. He had swallowed a huge amount of water and felt like he could not go on.
He said it was only the thought of his family waiting for him back at home that kept him going.
After reaching the shore Mr Luck, who suffers from angina crawled on all fours before collapsing with exhaustion.
Fortunately a family heard the sound of the boat, noticed it going around in circles and decided to investigate. They then discovered Mr Luck on the bank of the creek about an hour after he had reached the shore.
The family took him back to his boat, which was still circling the area. They waited with him until the boat ran out of fuel, which took three hours.
Then Mr Luck, who had recovered a little after being given fresh water, drove the boat home to River Heads.
Mr Luck’s ordeal wasn’t over when he returned home – after inhaling so much water he started coughing up blood and was found to have water on the lungs.
His family rushed him to Hervey Bay hospital where he says he received “the best treatment”.
He is still finding it hard to sleep – he says whenever he closes his eyes he relives his ordeal – but he knows how lucky he is to still be here.
“He is recovering in bed – it was very traumatic for him.”
Ms Evans hopes the people who helped her father will come forward so the family can thank them.
“We are just so grateful to them – we’re all so thankful.”