Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Tears, Cheers for Don's Safe Return; Ballina Man Greets His Rescuers, Family and Friends

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Tears, Cheers for Don's Safe Return; Ballina Man Greets His Rescuers, Family and Friends

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC FEAIN Police reporter

THERE was a flood of tears and hugs and laughter at Ballina Hospital yesterday as family, friends and rescuers returned to see the man they had spent the previous two days searching for.

Don Graham had been out for a walk on Angels Beach Drive on Sunday afternoon when he slipped down an embankment and became stuck in mangroves.

For 30 hours police, SES volunteers, Ballina Jetboat Rescue crew members and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter scoured the town, parks and waterways searching for the 72-year-old.

"I know how strong dad's mind is and he just wasn't going to go out in a ditch like that, no way," said Lisa Asbey-Palmer, Mr Graham's daughter.

"It was just wonderful, wonderful news when we got the call saying he was found. We went straight to him and he was saying, a[approximately]I don't know if I should get in the ambulance, I think I'll be okay to walk back'.

"I just hugged him, I was so happy, but also very distressed he had been in that situation all night. …

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