Family rescued from flooded river


A couple and their nine-month-old baby were rescued from their stranded vehicle by boat from the flooded Waimea River late yesterday evening during a heavy rain storm.

The alarm was raised about 8.30pm by friends of the group who told a nearby landowner a vehicle was stuck in the swollen river after a 4WD outing to view the rising flood water.

Nelson Surf Lifesavers Aaron Lyttle and Marcus Gardner responded, pulling the family out of their 4WD and returning them to safety at about 10.30pm.

“It was all on, they got caught in a flash flood and got stuck on an island between the stock bank and the river so we went and got them out,” says Aaron.

“We launched the IRB (inflatable rescue boat) off the Lower Queen St stock bank and went up the overflow in the dark, we had to cut a couple of fences to get through but we got them into the IRB, strapped lifejackets on them and wrapped them up in blankets.”

“They were still a bit shaken up and nervous, especially with the young one but we got them back and into the ambulance.”

“They certainly made the right decision to call for hep, it would have been extremely risky in the dark and with a young baby, it could have gone pear shaped quickly.”

Police praised the efforts of the rescue teams who worked in very challenging conditions.