Aussies saved after driving campervan into NZ lake

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The campervan drove into Masterton's Henley Lake with a family of five aboard. PIC: Piers Fuller/Stuff

Taking a long caravan or campervan trip on unfamiliar roads can throw up a few challenges and frights … just ask the Australian family who drove into a New Zealand lake on Tuesday.

The holidaying group had hired a campervan to explore the land of the long white cloud when things went horribly wrong … and it could easily have been a lot, lot worse.

The campervan accidentally drove through a barrier at a car park beside Henley Lake in Masterton on the North Island and floated away with a man and his four children, aged three to 16, aboard.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the mother was onshore as the scene unfolded. Bystanders consoled her and called emergency services.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton of Wairarapa Police was one of the first on the scene.

“When I talked to the lady and she said ‘They’re still in there,’ I thought, ‘Oh my God’,” he said.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a firefighter waded out to the campervan, which had taken on water and settled on the bottom of the lake about 20 metres from shore.

Fire crews attached a line to the vehicle and borrowed an outrigger canoe from a nearby club to ferry the occupants to safety. The father was also in the water, which was extremely cold, to help his children into the canoe.

Sergeant Sutton said the family’s reaction was that of relief that they were safe even though all their possessions were still in the vehicle.

The rental company was arranging salvage, although getting the van out of the lake is likely to be challenging as the vehicle would be full of water and a diver would probably be needed to attach a tow line.

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One Response to Aussies saved after driving campervan into NZ lake

  1. Trust an Aussie to try turn an RV into a boat.. Lol. We’re also gonna be the but of many jokes in NZ too.. Especially around Masterton, no doubt.. . Maybe they’ll invent an amphibious RV? What do you think?? Maybe it’s not so bad, after all.. RV come New Zealand house boat? . Glad they’re all OK, as was said in the article, could’ve been much worse. Take care on the road!

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