NEVER AGAIN: Sam and John Gould near the spot on Torquay Beach where they got caught in sinking sand.
NEVER AGAIN: Sam and John Gould near the spot on Torquay Beach where they got caught in sinking sand. Alistair Brightman

'Quicksand' trap still haunting Hervey Bay couple

SAM and John Gould refuse to return to the part of Torquay Beach where they believe they were close to drowning in sand.

The couple is still feeling the impact a week after the incident which left Sam neck deep in sinking sand and her husband John fighting with all his strength while waist deep in sand, to stop his wife from sinking further into the depths.

The council last week announced they were investigating the case of sinking sand spots along the beach.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Sam said she wouldn't go anywhere near the area of beach where she fell in and said her husband ended up in hospital.

"He was getting pains all the way up his arm to his neck. He had muscle and tissue damage from the strain of trying to push me out of the sand," Sam said.

Sam said they weren't able to sleep for a couple of nights after they sunk into the sand on Monday, April 10, and the first time back on the beach brought back frightening memories.

"A few nights after, I replayed what happened in my dreams, that horrible sensation of falling through the sand so quickly," she said.

The most upsetting thought for Sam and her husband was if it was to happen to a child or an elderly person.

Councillor Denis Chapman said there had been no more issues related to soft sand in the area reported to council.

"Contractors' afternoon checks of the work will remain in place for the duration of the project," Cr Chapman said.

He said the contractor was track rolling any disturbed areas at the end of the day and was also checking for any potential problem areas.

Council said there were temporary warning signs in the vicinity of the construction site.

Sam said it would take at least three or four weeks before John was able to do any labour work.

The couple recently moved from Sydney and bought a property near the beach.

"We were planning on going back to Sydney to finish renovating the unit for a few weeks, before coming back to Hervey Bay but that has been pushed back now."

Sam said it was disappointing they hadn't heard from council directly.

She believes there needs to be signs on the actual beach in the area where it happened, near the sailing club.

Cr Chapman said the council's project co-ordinator talked with the couple on the beach to go over the incident and called the couple to check on their welfare a couple of days later,


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A journey back in time

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United front to fight for long term water security

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