Rescue in same spot in Nelson river
Mon, 22 Oct 2012 6:31p.m.
By Rachel Tiffen
Police are in disbelief at the need to rescue a second group of Nelson youths from a car stuck in a river.
They were trapped in the very same spot, and needed the same rescue helicopter to save them as the incident just five days ago. But it may not be the last they hear of it.
For rescuers it was a clear case of déjà vu. The three teenagers and a child had to be plucked one-by-one from their four-wheel-drive in Nelson's Waimea River.
It was a lucky escape but not an unforeseeable accident, and police say it defies logic.
“I couldn't believe it at first,” says Sergeant Steve Savage of Nelson Police. “I thought it was just the same job being re-hashed. We're lucky it wasn't a fatality and I find it particularly annoying they had no good reason to be crossing the river. [They] were clearly joy-riding.”
Three teenagers and an 11-year-old boy were trying to cross the fast flowing river – something four-wheel-drivers call "criss-crossing" – when they got stuck.
Police have since discovered the 19-year-old male driver was disqualified. The boy was swept about 130m downriver, but managed to scramble ashore.
“Basically they were playing down the river in a newly acquired four-wheel drive, and decided to cross at a spot they probably shouldn't have and ended up getting washed down into the fast water,” says Sgt Savage.
It was an expensive mistake. Yesterday's helicopter callout alone cost about $1500.
“The cost for both operations could be near $10,000.”
Police say the disqualified driver may face criminal charges, as a riverbed falls into the same category as a road under the Land Transport Act.
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22/10/2012 9:39:08 p.m.
@Katarina - no point, they'd be able to pay the fine off at $5 per week, and get a benefit to cover it. Pure idiocy like this needs the kids and their parents to be jailed.
22/10/2012 7:59:33 p.m.
They should have to pay for thir stupidity. Charge them for their rescue, then people might think twice before thye are stupid.
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