Youngster caught up in stream
Tokoroa child Emma-Rose Smith stood on the bank of the Pokaiwhenua Stream last week, gazing at the water which almost claimed her life earlier this month.
The 11-year-old returned to the location last Thursday with her mother, Rebekah Garner, aware that the outcome could have been much worse if it had not been for the heroic actions of friend Melanie Olsen.
The near-drowning occurred when the two mothers took their children to swim in a portion of the stream near the waterfall. Emma-Rose slipped off a rock and into a strong current.
While submerged her hair became entangled in blackberry growing underneath the surface.
Melanie dived in and managed to hold Emma-Rose’s head above water while she untangled her hair then dragged her to safety.
‘‘ Without her, Emma- Rose would not have survived, so she is my hero,’’ Ms Garner says.
She said the family would never swim in the stream again and is calling for users to be mindful of the current, which can be deceiving.
TOKOROA: More than
one hundred gathered to
perform the haka at
the Tokoroa Youth Park
RETURN: Tokoroa’s Emma-Rose Smith revisited the Pokaiwhenua Stream last week after almost drowning in it earlier this month.