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Boy saved brother’s life in Australian flood

By Liz Goodwin
Jordan Rice, a 13-year-old Australian boy, has emerged as a tragic-heroic figure in news accounts of the disastrous Australian floods, after he asked a rescuer to save his little brother, Blake, before himself. Jordan Rice and his mother, Donna, were swept away by floodwaters and drowned before rescuer Warren McErlean could return for them.
Jordan's father, John Tyson, told the Toowoomba Chronicle Jordan could not swim and was terrified of water.
"I can only imagine what was going on inside to give up his life to save his brother, even though he was petrified of water," he said. "He is our little hero."
Tyson told the paper his longtime partner, Donna Rice, was driving with two of her young sons in tire-level water when her engine stopped. She called for help and the three of them got on the roof of the car as the floodwaters rose quickly. Bystanders were not offering help until McErlean tied a rope around himself and went after them.
A wave of water was coming fast when McErlean reached them with the rope. "Save my brother first," Jordan said, according to McErlean.
Jordan and his mother were swept away, and only 10-year-old Blake survived.
At least 19 people have died in the Queensland floods, according to Reuters.
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