Queensland motorist rushes to save Ford Range ute from rugged surf amid Cyclone Seth  


Tense moment motorist desperately tries to save his Ford Ranger ute as it’s swamped by the ocean – with tropical cyclone feeding big swells in days of wild weather

  • A ute is swept away in wild surf at Rainbow Beach in Queensland on Monday
  • Bystanders tried to help the driver & passenger retrieve the $80k Ford Ranger 
  • Efforts lasted until nightfall with the vehicle rescued during low tide on Tuesday 
  • High tides and gale force winds smashed the south east Queensland coastline
  • Campsites were flooded and multiple beaches were swamped by huge swells 


A motorist has been forced to desperately retrieve his ute from rugged surf after huge swells hit the Queensland coast. 

The man had been driving his Ford Ranger ute with a jet ski in tow along Rainbow Beach in Queensland’s Gympie Region when a large wave hit the vehicle.

Footage captures the moment the ute is swept away into the rugged surf as bystanders rush to help the driver and his passenger. 

A Ford Ranger ute has been swept away by wild surf at Rainbow Beach in Queensland on Monday (pictured, bystanders attempt to retrieve the vehicle from rough surf on Monday) 

Bruce Howe, from Brisbane, filmed as the drama unfolded with residents banding together to rescue the $80,000 vehicle from being thrashed by rough surf.

‘Most of the locals went down and tried to help,’ Mr Howe told 9NEWS.

‘There’s not much they can do in that situation but people were trying to help unload the truck, belongings, surf boards and stuff like that.’

Witness Bruce Howe said the vehicle (pictured) wasn't able to be retrieved until low tides hit at about 3am Tuesday

Witness Bruce Howe said the vehicle (pictured) wasn’t able to be retrieved until low tides hit at about 3am Tuesday 

He added the ute was submerged in the water at 5pm on Monday with attempts to retrieve the vehicle continuing until nightfall. 

It was only until low tide at about 3am on Tuesday when the ute was able to be salvaged from the water.  

High tides and gale force winds caused by Cyclone Seth wreaked havoc across the Queensland coast line forcing beach closures and campsites to become flooded. 

At Teewah Beach, near Noosa, camper Kath D Wino quickly found herself packing up her belonging after being caught out in the middle of wild weather. 

‘One minute we are enjoying a coffee on the dunes, and the next minute madly starting to pack up as the water came right up into our camp in zone two,’ she posted on Facebook.

Further south, eight metre waves were recorded at Stradbroke Island on the Gold Coast prompting warnings from life guard to steer clear of the water.    

High tides caused flooding at Teewah Beach near Noosa causing campers to quickly pack up their belongings (pictured)

High tides caused flooding at Teewah Beach near Noosa causing campers to quickly pack up their belongings (pictured)

Dozens of volunteers on Stradbroke Island were spotted with shovels in tow to help clean up the aftermath of the high tides.

‘Everyone just turned up with a smile and a shovel and sandwiches. We think we filled 12 to 1300 sandbags,’ volunteer Katherine Wall told the news outlet.  

The Bureau of Meteorology issued another severe weather alert for ‘abnormally high tides’ along south east Queensland on Tuesday.

The Fraser Coast and Gympie region were among the hardest hit areas as water levels have exceeded the highest astronomical tide (HAT) of 2022 by more than half a metre.

Hazardous surf warnings also remain in place for K’Gari (Fraser Island) as well as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Beaches will remained closed on the Sunshine Coast and North Stradbroke and Moreton islands while hazardous surf conditions persist. 

Clifton Beach, Cylinder Beach (Stradbroke Island), Dicky Beach, Kewarra Beach, Marcoola, Mission Beach, Mudjimba, Palm Cove, Trinity Beach and Yaroomba are forced to shut until conditions are reassessed on Wednesday morning. 

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