Lucky escape from swollen river
A teenager thought she was going to die after becoming caught under willows in the swollen Motueka River, police said.
Senior Constable Dave Colville said five teenagers had gone out in the river on Monday afternoon, some in a small inflatable boat and the others in tyre tubes.
He said the river had been in flood after Sunday night’s downpour and was flowing at about 50 cumecs, which was ‘‘reasonably swift’’.
At some stage, the group lost sight of one of their friends on a tube and Colville said they started to panic. They got out of the river and went to a nearby house to call police.
Colville said the missing teenager, in a tube, had been caught under the willows at the river’s edge and the force of the current kept bobbing her under the water.
‘‘She thought she was going to die so in the end she fell off the tube and was able to pull herself up out of the water by the willows.’’ along scrub and farmland until she came across police. Colville said the girl’s friends were ‘‘quite relieved’’ when she came out of the bush.
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Tim DouglasClifford said the helicopter was called around 5.30pm on Monday.
The helicopter searched the area for 30 minutes before it became clear she was out of the river.
‘‘It was pretty swift, she was very lucky.’’