I have never been caught in a flash flood before. But this week it did happen. While photographing the beautiful palak siring waterfalls in Kemumu North Bengkulu. It all started with a slight drizzle as I started photographing the waterfalls and it never occurred to me that it may have been poring cats and dogs up in the mountains. After on and off photographing the falls for 2 hours in between slight rain drizzles the sun finally decided to break through. I was situated directly in front of the falls, camera set low to the flowing river and all my camera gear perched on a rock beside me. I decided to dig into my camera bag to change lenses to an ultra wide, but as I turned my back to grab the new lens a thunderous roar cascaded over the falls. Like a dam had just busted a massive torrent of mud filled water gushed over the falls and for a split second I was a dear in headlights watching a wave of water rush towards my precarious position with my camera and gear. After snapping out of shock I went into panic/survival mode. With what seemed like a reflex action I grabbed the camera and tripod slapped it over my shoulder. With the other hand snapped up my camera bag, satchel and filter box and blindly stepped onto whatever rocks I could find as I attempted to reach safer higher ground. One misjudged step and over I went with my camera bag entering the water for a second or two before recovering and clambering onto the nearest high ground. Wow that was close as I looked back over my previous position of taking photos and the rock that I had placed my camera gear it was completely under gushing water.
After a minute or two of settling down after that sprint and panic and realizing all was safe again I regathering myself and immediately attended to any gear that might be wet and needing attention before moving on from the falls. Good news is no damage to any camera gear. I even managed to go on and take photos immediately afterwards of the beautiful rice fields before finding a clothes shop to buy new dry clothes.