Man rescued from roof of caravan in NZ flood drama

Published: July 18, 2021
Grey nomad rescued from roof of caravan

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.

  • Have you ever been caught out – or nearly caught out – by rising floodwaters? Comment below.
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Ric Moffet
6 months ago

Had a situation , back in 08, we were camped below the Copeton Dam, on the Gwydir river, we were right on the river back about 1metre above the water level, as it had been raining, my wife and I argued about being so close to the water front, as it had been raining heavily in the days before, I didn’t want to camp there, my wife insisted saying, that I am too overly cautious and it s..ts, her to death. We wake up next morning with water 2 foot deep inside our soft floor camper, Now me being cautious, she takes heed of all the time.

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