With flooding across the nation, drowning rates are at a 25-year high and driving through floods is a leading cause. So why do people still take the risk?

When the rescue team arrived in Nundah, an inner suburb of Brisbane, on the night of Sunday 27 February 2022, the rain was heavy and power outages had left the city dark. A member of the public had reported seeing a car, with people inside, floating down the road. But when Brad Mitchell – a specialist swift-water rescue technician with Queensland Fire and Rescue Service – scanned the scene, all he could see was a vast black sea flowing where a city street once lay.

After 10 minutes of fruitless searching – wading through chest height water – the team was ready to go and look somewhere else, when a resident yelled from their balcony: “I can see a light!”

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