Huge rocks crash down around couple
Seddon farming couple Sam and Sarah Kersten had to jump on top of their 18-month-old baby to protect her with their bodies when yesterday's magnitude 6.6 quake dislodged an avalanche of large rocks.
Mr Kersten said he and his family had ridden a quad bike from the farm he works on, Dog Hill Station, up the bed of the Flaxbourne River to check on a herd of pregnant ewes before the quake struck at 2.30pm.
Mrs Kersten had decided to come and help him, bringing baby Eliza along for a ride.
The path they followed winds beneath a row of rocky hills that Mr Kersten estimated to be around one kilometer high.
"We were in the absolute worst place we could be."
When the rocks started coming down, Mr Kersten and his wife got off the quad bike and crouched behind it, shielding their child.
"Most of the rocks were about the size of wheelie bins, they would have weighed about a ton."
We saw them going past us and hitting the trees and smashing the trees to splinters."
He said he was certain that if he and Mrs Kersten had not got behind the quad, they would have all been killed.
"It was absolutely terrifying. There was nowhere we could go."
None of the three was injured. Mrs Kersten and Eliza went to Blenheim today, while Mr Kersten stayed in Seddon.
- The Marlborough Express