If Australian grey nomads needed a reminder of just how quickly floodwaters can rise – and how dangerous they can be – they just need to look across the ‘ditch’
A man camping next to the Motueka River on New Zealand’s South Island has just had to be plucked to safety by a helicopter after his car and caravan were submerged.
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Barry McAuliffe told News Hub NZ that the rescued man had woken up yesterday morning to find himself completely surrounded by water.
“He’d managed to get up through the skylight in the caravan and get himself on to the roof out of the water, so we quite simply just went and rested the skid of the helicopter on the edge of the caravan roof,” said McAuliffe. “Our medic jumped out and escorted the man back in to the helicopter and we shifted him to dry land.”
The pilot said that, once the man was rescued, he was a little startled at what he had been through, and was extremely upset at having lost his possessions.
The helicopter crew had initially thought they were going to a call-out about a campervan with people on the roof, so were quite shocked to see a caravan with a car completely submerged in front of it.
News Hub NZ reports that the Motueka River is in flood along with dozens of others at the top of the South Island as record amounts of rainfall pummel the region.