A RESILIENT three-year-old boy had a longer bath than usual when his fingers became stuck down the plughole, turning a nightly ritual into a four-hour ordeal.
A platoon of emergency services assisted with the detailed rescue before Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) crews cut Levi Gibbons’ hand free.
Levi’s mother, Shandi Gibbons, had no idea what to expect when he told her he was stuck in the bath two weeks ago.
Mrs Gibbons tried oiling up his hand to wriggle out three fingers on his right hand each engorged in tiny drain holes.
Unsuccessful, she phoned the hospital, who advised her to phone triple-0 and within 15 minutes, ambulance and VRA crews arrived at their Wagga home.
Crews spent the next four hours working to free Levi’s hand, exhausting attempts to come from under the house and partially remove parts of the bathtub.
“It was quite stressful,” Mrs Gibbons said.
“There were no tears until the last half hour.”
Levi was then sedated as the rescue carried on and VRA’s Mark Whittaker helped saw out sections of the drain to free the tiny hand.
He was taken to hospital with scratches to his hand, but it has since fully recovered.
Mrs Gibbons said while the rescue was exhausting for Levi, he has no problem jumping in the bath again, but he will now always jump out before he pulls out the plug.
It is a unique rescue that local VRA crews can proudly claim to have conquered.
“We sort of had a fair idea how to go about it, but it went a bit longer than we anticipated,” Mr Whittaker said.
“We very rarely (have rescues like this). He (Levi) was a bit of an exception.”
Mr Whittaker has just one piece of light-hearted but warranted advice: “Don’t stick things where they’re not meant to be.”
The Wagga VRA branch is currently calling for volunteers to assist with specialist rescue operations across the region.
There are currently just 12 volunteers in the Wagga association.
How to get involved in Wagga VRA:
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