Rachel Baxter reflects on her favourite story at the Guyra Argus and Armidale Express this year, the father and son from Nelson Bay who became national heroes

EVERYDAY HEROES: Nelson Bay fishermen Rhys Pateman and his dad Scott pulled seven people from a dramatic double rollover near Armidale earlier this year. Photo: Rachel Baxter
EVERYDAY HEROES: Nelson Bay fishermen Rhys Pateman and his dad Scott pulled seven people from a dramatic double rollover near Armidale earlier this year. Photo: Rachel Baxter

Just minutes after Nelson Bay contractor Scott Pateman and his son Rhys freed two victims of a rollover on the Devils Pinch, they turned to see a car flying through the air towards them.

Their story just goes to show anyone can be a hero. 

“It was like a scene in a movie,” Mr Pateman said.

A split second later and the pair were diving for safety as a red sedan rolled off the New England Highway near Guyra.

It crash landed beside the first car, with five shaken men dangling upside down in their seats.

“We ran over, ripped the door open and got them out,” Mr Pateman told Fairfax Media shortly after the incident in July.

I was driving to work in Glen Innes when I saw the two vehicles upside down by the highway.

It wasn’t until later that day I learnt the epic story of the two Nelson Bay fishermen.

The pair were staying in Guyra while working at the Armidale Hospital redevelopment.

It was a temporary job while they waited to commence a contract on the Williamtown RAAF base.

“I’ve never seen anything like it … I was pretty shaken up,” Rhys said.

“Afterwards it felt like any other day when we got to work.

“We kept getting updates from family and friends of the media coverage.”

Their story became national news.

“We’re just fishermen though,” Mr Pateman said.

The female passenger of the first car was rushed to Armidale Hospital where she received 13 stitches in her head.

The driver, suffering from back pain, was reported to be in a stable condition.

​Armidale Police Sergeant Laurie Cattell said it was likely both cars slipped on black ice on the Devils Pinch, a bend of road notorious for its tight corners and icy conditions.

“There’s a possibility there may have been black ice on the road given the fact that we had another heavy frost up here this morning,” Sergeant Cattell said.

“Both cars came around the corner and lost control both ending up in the same place side by side.” A unique story with a happy ending.

This story ‘We’re just fishermen’ first appeared on The Guyra Argus.

Comments

Discuss "‘We’re just fishermen’"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.