Crossing ends in deep water
Three Timaru men got more than they bargained for on Christmas Eve when the Macaulay River all but swallowed their four-wheel-drive vehicle.
While they could have swum to safety, they chose to wait on top of the vehicle for fear of losing their iPhones.
Lake Tekapo police said the trio lacked common sense and that if unsure they should have walked the river first.
The Timaru men were hunting on the Macaulay River at the northern end of Lake Tekapo.
They were in a sports utility vehicle and attempted to cross the river when the vehicle became stuck in deep water.
A friend of the men, who supplied the photographs, and didn't want to be named, said the situation soon became embarrassing.
"They felt buoyant crossing the river and they didn't notice the river getting higher, then got stuck.
"Worried about their iPhones, they couldn't swim to shore; the situation showed the advantage of a sun roof.
The men climbed on to the roof of the vehicle as the torrent got higher.
"They sat on the roof of the car waiting for somebody to find them but things got worse; luckily somebody did find them.
"The moral of the story is if you have an expensive phone and plan to cross rivers, have a nylon bag."
The three men were rescued by passers-by but not before they alerted police, family and friends.
They were thrown a rope by the rescuers and the vehicle was towed out and on to Tekapo township.
Constable Brent Swanson, of Lake Tekapo, confirmed the incident had occurred and labelled it as stupidity.
"I found it mildly amusing; it was stupidity, people should know what they are doing before they cross rivers. Police were not directly involved; a local guy towed them out."
"The Macaulay River was running low but they chose a deep hole. It's just a case of being sensible."
The Timaru Herald