With the ground burning around his home in Dunalley, Tasmania, resident Tim Holmes knew he and his family had only one place to hide: In the water.
Holmes' wife Tammy and their five grandchildren age 2 to 11 held on to a pier for three hours until Tim managed to find his dinghy and transport them to safety.
"It's still quite an upsetting image," Bonnie Walker told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "It's of all of my five children underneath the jetty, huddled up to neck deep sea water, which is cold. I knew that that would be a challenge to keep three non-swimmers above water and with only my mom, dad and our eldest daughter."
Tim told ABC the "tornadoes of fire" spinning toward their property left them "no other escape."