Young­ster caught up in stream

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By ADEN MILES

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

on Wai­tangi

Day.

RE­TURN: Toko­roa’s Emma-Rose Smith re­vis­ited the Pokai­whenua Stream last week af­ter al­most drown­ing in it ear­lier this month.

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