The boy was clinging to the Garden Island causeway bridge after a paddleboard incident at Melville Primary School’s camp

A young boy stranded alone in the sea for almost two hours during a school camp in Rockingham was found clinging to steel braces under a Garden Island causeway bridge in a horrific ordeal that has left him with great fear.

The 11-year-old, whose stand-up paddleboard was blown out to sea during a year 6 camp at Melville Primary School in Point Peron, was forced to jump off his board and swim to a pylon before being swept under the bridge.

The Department of Education recently imposed a temporary ban on elementary school students from using stand-up paddleboards, but gave scant details about the serious Dec. 1 incident at the camp that sparked the boycott.

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Three other boys, also blown towards the dam, climbed over sharp rocks onto the road and hitchhiked back to Point Peron campsite with an officer from HMAS Stirling Naval Base.

The water police coordinated a marine response to help locate the fourth boy. The department confirmed he was missing for almost two hours before he was rescued.

The stranded boy’s mother, who asked not to be named, said the situation “almost took my son’s life”.

“What worried me the most was that the school never contacted me during the whole time he was missing,” she said.

“I now have a child with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, fear of death and separation anxiety.”

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/boy-left-clinging-to-garden-island-causeway-bridge-after-paddleboard-incident-on-melville-primary-school-camp-c-7869696 The boy was clinging to the Garden Island causeway bridge after a paddleboard incident at Melville Primary School’s camp

Nate Jones

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