‘Her face said it all’: Campers chased tent with a teenage girl inside after it was blown down the beach during the storm. Picture: File
‘Her face said it all’: Campers chased tent with a teenage girl inside after it was blown down the beach during the storm. Picture: File

Terror at Teewah as storm blows tent away with teen inside

A family camping trip took a frightening turn when strong winds got hold of a tent with a fifteen-year-old autistic girl inside and swept it down the beach.

Leasa Hutchinson and her family were sitting in their campsite watching the lightning from afar, when out of nowhere the storm hit Teewah Beach at around 8pm last night.

“We got the kids in the tent while I tired to hold onto one gazebo and hubby had the other but the wind was so strong my boys came out to help me hold on but couldn’t and the gazebo was lifting off with all four of us trying to hold it,” she said.

“My disabled daughter was in the tent and the whole lot just collapsed with her inside and then the wind got hold of it and it took off.

“I quickly yelled to my sons to get in the car and my husband ran after the tent.”

With the help of other campers, Mrs Hutchinson’s husband was able to grab hold of the tent and get his daughter out.

“She is fine, just never seen her look so scared … her face said it all,” Mrs Hutchinson said.

A severe storm warning was issued for parts of the Gympie region, including Teewah Beach, but a lack of reception meant campers were unaware.
A severe storm warning was issued for parts of the Gympie region, including Teewah Beach, but a lack of reception meant campers were unaware.

Mrs Hutchinson said she has camped at Teewah for 11 years and has never experienced a storm like last night’s.

“We had some really nice younger campers down from us who helped my husband collect all our stuff which was all over the beach,” she said.

“There was no reception at the camping grounds so we had no idea when the storms were coming.”

Other campers shared photos of their damaged tents, including Karen Lazic whose canvas tent with three children inside was “ripped apart”. Picture: Karen Lazic
Other campers shared photos of their damaged tents, including Karen Lazic whose canvas tent with three children inside was “ripped apart”. Picture: Karen Lazic

The family from Logan were forced to sleep in their car before cleaning up all the broken camping gear the next morning.

“All the way along the beach people had left in a real hurry all their camping gear was still there, wrecked camp trailers left behind, it was very scary,” Mrs Hutchinson said.

Unlike the Hutchinsons, many campers fled without disposing of rubbish or taking their broken gear with them.

“It’s terrible, it’s not that hard to clean up before you go,” she said.

“There are three lots of bins up there and if everyone just broke up there damage gazebos and place them in a pile for the garage truck then it wouldn’t be an issue, but people have just up and left.

“It is a shame because we don’t have a lot of areas like Teewah to camp on and if they keep it up we won’t have it either, they will close it down.”

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