Girl's rescue prompts investigation

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:22 12/06/2014

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Marlborough District Council will be investigating the near drowning of a 12-year-old girl who tried to cross the flooded Taylor River in Blenheim yesterday.

Council assets and services manager Mark Wheeler said council would be meeting with police to find out what happened.

They would also discuss whether any extra precautions needed to be put in place around the Taylor River when it was flooded, he said.

''I do think everyone is aware there are many access points to the Taylor River walkway and it would be very difficult to close every one of them every time the river rises,'' he said.

Katie Broome, the partner of the girl's father, said the girl, who does not know how to swim, was going the same way she went to school every day.''

In her mind she was doing the right thing by going the route she knows,'' Broome said.Police said the outcome could have been very different if the two men had not been there.

Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 chief executive Paul Tredinnick has offered the girl swimming lessons after he was approached by the two rescuers and police yesterday.

Tredinnick said the free lessons would hopefully restore her confidence around water.

''It's important to get her back in the water,'' he said.''All kids need water confidence and should know how to make decisions around water appropriate to their skill level.

''The family of the girl was ''stoked'' with the lessons, police said.

The year 7 Bohally Intermediate student was swept into the river while pushing her bike across a footbridge on her way to school.

Marlborough head boy Angus Pauley jumped into the river and pulled the girl out with the help of Marlborough winemaker Jeremy McKenzie.

Angus, 17, was in the car with his mum on his way to school when he saw a girl in the flood water below High St bridge.

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- The Marlborough Express

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