Fairy Pools near-tragedy makes tourist an accidental hero
CAMERON Toy was supposed to fly home to Melbourne last Tuesday but fate intervened.
Here for a boys' weekend in Noosa, Mr Toy has left the region as a hero, saving a teenage girl who was minutes away from certain death.
Mr Toy was walking on the popular Noosa National Park trail en route to Hells Gate when he saw a group of girls taking photos at the Fairy Pools swimming holes.
Next moment one girl, who he believes was attempting to get a selfie, was swept off her feet and out of sight.
Without a second's thought for his own safety, Mr Toy braved the high seas and came to the girl's aid.
"She was seriously struggling, kept going under," he said.
"Every set would drag her back down.
"She kept trying to clamber up the rocks but kept getting smashed.
"I managed to get to her eventually and grabbed her by the hair, I think, and pulled her in.
"Another minute and she would have drowned. Absolutely."
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Mr Toy remained with the girl, who had sustained "horrific-looking" lacerations, until Surf Life Saving Queensland authorities and paramedics could assist.
The incident unfolded over several hours, but felt like seconds to Mr Toy.
"She was a bit of a mess - head to toe covered in lacerations," he said.
"Jeez, it would have hurt."
Now back in Melbourne, the unassuming hero is still coming to terms with the incident.
"I keep thinking of all the 'what if' moments," he said.
"I was due to fly out the day before.
"It's like the Sliding Doors movie with Gwyneth Paltrow: what if one thing didn't happen.
"What if I caught that flight. Why did I go for a walk? Why did I choose that beach?"
Hours after being swept off her feet, paramedics transported the girl, who is in her late teens, to Noosa Hospital in a stable condition.
Noosa Hospital was unable to provide comment on the teen's status.