Crouch End pilot heroic work in Australian floods

A helicopter pilot from Crouch End has rescued a couple and their granddaughter after they were trapped for three days by the devastating floods in Australia.

Chris Bone, who went to Highgate Wood school, has been helicopter pilot for 15 years.

Born in Crouch End, Mr Bone’s parents still live in Barrington Road although he moved to Thailand in 1996 and relocated to Australia ten years ago.

For weeks the country has battled the floods caused by tropical storms.

Mr Bone was called in to repair the power line networks after the storm waters tore down power poles, but soon ended up doing more – delivering food to remote areas, rescuing stranded residents and delivering aid workers to isolated towns.

“I took a couple and their granddaughter back to their home town as they had been trapped for three days just in the clothes they stood up in,” he said.

“They had been in Toowomaba High Street on the Monday when the tidal wave had gone through the town and they described it as horrific, saying that they had seen people washed away. It was an emotional reunion between the little girl and her mother.”

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The worst devastation Mr Bone witnessed was in the town of Grantham when he flew in journalists determined to get to the worst affected areas.

He said: “Houses were devastated and the streets were littered with debris, the smell of decay hung in the air and the high tide mark was way up the side of a hill on the edge of town.

“I watched people greet neighbours they had not seen since the flood, emotions were very high and everyone looked shell-shocked.

“The town was mostly deserted apart from police and the army searching for bodies.”