Father pays tribute to river rescuers

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:48 12/06/2014
Awatere Valley Rd
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

THANKS A MILL: The father of the 12-year-old girl rescued from the Taylor River, Luke McIsaac, left, and his partner Katie Broome, chat with rescuers Jeremy McKenzie and Angus Pauley at a press conference yesterday

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The father of a girl rescued from the swollen Taylor River can't thank her rescuers enough.

Marlborough Boys' College head boy Angus Pauley, 17, and Blenheim winemaker Jeremy McKenzie rescued a year 7 Bohally Intermediate student from the river after she was swept away on her way to school yesterday.

The girl's father Luke McIsaac said he and his partner, Katie Broome, were deeply grateful to Angus and McKenzie.

"We really can't thank you enough, from the bottom of our hearts," Broome said.

"We just don't have the words."

The couple knew the girl would be OK when they arrived at Wairau Hospital and saw she had eaten the food in her lunch box, which was in her backpack when she got caught in the flood, and was sopping wet.

The 12-year-old had recovered and was doing well by yesterday afternoon, they said.

She had not wanted to attend the press conference, and was watching movies at a friend's house.

Broome said she had been going the way she normally went to school.

"She loves school and absolutely loves her teacher, so she [wouldn't] do anything to [be] late," she said.

"In her mind, she was doing the right thing to get to school."

Police talked to Bohally Intermediate students yesterday warning them of the dangers of flooded rivers.

"Anyone that's ever tramped or had anything to do with rivers, irrespective of how small, they know as soon as they're in flood they're incredibly dangerous as we found out today," said Sergeant Mark Lucas, of Blenheim.

"If the river's in flood, you've just got to stay away and err on the side of caution, so we don't have a tragedy."

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- The Marlborough Express

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