The two inflatable rescue boats used by Nelson Surf Rescue to save a man trapped in his house bus on the Appleby River last night.

Man pulled from flooded river overnight


A man was pulled out of his house bus after heavy rain flooded the river which he was parked beside overnight.

Emergency services arrived on the banks of the Appleby River near the Bartlett Road Quarry around 2am this morning to find the middle-aged local stranded in his bus 25 metres out from the water line.

The river was swollen and fast flowing so police called in Nelson Surf Rescue who used an inflatable rescue boat to reach the bus and transport the man back to the bank but not before he’d smoked a cigarette, grabbed his wallet, and put on a life jacket he had lying around in his bus.

“When we arrived, the bus was about 25 metres off the high tide mark on the river and just over a metre underwater,” says Nelson Surf Rescue member Noah Hosie.

“We launched one boat and had another ready if we needed it but we managed to pull up beside the bus in the floodwaters and talk to the fellow inside through his window.

“He jumped into our boat and we ferried him across to shore.”

Noah says the water was well over the front wheels and rapidly creeping into the bus.

“The bus was nose into the water, I’m not sure if he’d gotten stuck or was just camping there for the night but it was a dangerous situation and a difficult rescue with the swollen river, poor visibility, and strong currents.

“If anone had been in the water they would have been a goner.”

The man had been trying to contact his son who arrived onsite as the rescue was taking place.

Police, the Richmond Volunteer Fire Brigade, St John and Nelson Surf Rescue attended the rescue.