John Asiata, Antonio Winterstein and Gavin Cooper out helping in the floods.
John Asiata, Antonio Winterstein and Gavin Cooper out helping in the floods.

Cowboys star dives in to help flood-ravaged resident

John Asiata isn't the strongest swimmer but when the Cowboys prop saw a man who was recovering from back surgery stranded in flood waters - he knew he had to act.

This was the scenario Asiata faced this week when Townsville was inundated with record rainfall, prompting devastating floods across the North Queensland region.

Over 1500 homes have been assessed for water damage, including 738 properties that are severely damaged.

It's a terrible situation that left hundreds of locals deserted in the rising flood waters.

Asiata lives on the unaffected side of Townsville, so he felt compelled to help his fellow locals in need.

With the assistance of the Cowboys' chaplain's boat, he and former teammate Antonio Winterstein spent hours searching the flood waters for people.

"It was heartbreaking to see," Asiata told News Corp Australia

."The guy who'd just had the back surgery couldn't even hold his kids.

"He was out there with his three kids and wife was really difficult.

"He was four weeks post-surgery.

"But to see his neighbours also help him and bring him into their house was amazing to see.

"I'm not a good swimmer but I know the basics like move your arms and legs but it is just in my nature to help whenever someone is in trouble.

"You can't just stand there."

Asiata wasn't the only North Queensland player to help people ravaged by the flood waters in Townsville.

 

Antonio Winterstein and John Asiata help get residents out of the floodwaters.
Antonio Winterstein and John Asiata help get residents out of the floodwaters.

Back-rower Gavin Cooper picked up a guy in a wheelchair while they also came across a special needs boy with autism.

Fellow forward Scott Bolton also helped out while all the players' partners chipped in.

"We'd drop the people off in the boat and our wives would take them to the shelters so they were safe and warm," Asiata said.

"People were getting rescued left, right and centre.

"It was good to be out there and doing something to help.

"We started at 6.30am in the morning and we didn't finish until about 4pm.

"We were just doing our best to find anyone, whether it was pets, kids or whoever.

 

John Asiata has been out from 6.30am helping people in Townsville.
John Asiata has been out from 6.30am helping people in Townsville.

"It was inspiring to see the whole community rally and help each other like that."

Asiata revealed the entire North Queensland Cowboys squad will help with the long clean-up process in Townsville on Friday.

"We'll break up into little groups and just help out where we can," he said.

"It will be awesome.

"This is one-club town.

"Everyone loves the Cowboys. For us to give back is by playing our hearts out on the field.

"But this was something we wanted to do to help off the field."

 

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