How Hawthorn premiership hero Ian Law survived falling into raging floodwaters despite being BLIND
How Hawthorn premiership hero survived falling into dangerous flood waters despite being BLIND – as ordeal leaves him in hospital for three weeks with severe burns
By Shayne Bugden for Daily Mail Australia 00:41 23 Mar 2023, Updated 00:50 23 Mar 2023
Ian Law won flag with Falcons in 1961 84-year-old lucky to survive falls into river Law rescued after hours in water
Hawthorn legend Ian Law is lucky to be alive after the 84-year-old spent hours trying to stay afloat when he fell into raging floodwaters on the NSW/Victoria border recently.
Despite being blind, the ex-Hawk managed to dodge debris in the Darling River near Wentworth, NSW until he was rescued by people who spotted him struggling from a boat in early March.
Law has so far spent three weeks recovering in hospital after swallowing large amounts of water and suffering severe sunburn on his head when the current took him seven kilometers downstream as he fought for his life.
Law – who played a starring role in leading the Falcons to their first flag in 1961 – recently had a miraculous escape from raging floodwaters
He was blinded when a branch he sawed down on his property hit him on the head several years ago.
His wife Barbara – who raised the alarm when she discovered he had gone missing from their home – says her husband’s commitment to staying fit and ability to stay calm instead of panicking is probably what saved him.
‘I saw his footprints and thought, “Oh no, he’s gone to the river.” He couldn’t see that he wasn’t going on the usual track,” she told the Herald Sun.
Police and firefighters searched for Law and Barbara said they were ready to find his body in the water before he managed to grab onto a branch on the bank.
Law lives in Wentworth on the NSW/Victorian border, where the Darling River meets the Murray (pictured) – and the waterway was raging when he fell. The recent flood in the Darling (pictured) took the Falcons champion seven kilometers downstream and cost him. his front teeth
Remarkably, almost drowning and suffering the burns are not the biggest mark on the three-time club best and fairest winner.
‘The worst part was that he lost his top teeth. That’s what upsets him more than anything,” explains Barbara, who added that her husband has to be in the hospital for about another week before she returns home.
A rover with the Hawks, Law played a starring role in propelling the club to its first flag in 1961, when they beat Footscray in the grand final, thanks in part to his two goals on the day.
He finished third in the voting for the Brownlow Medal that year.
Law didn’t just excel at Aussie rules either, having played four cricket matches for Victoria as a batsman.
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