Please attribute to Sergeant Mark Kirkwood, O/C West Coast Search and Rescue
West Coast Police say a 41-year-old local woman is lucky to be alive after she was swept down the Arahura River and out to sea following a vehicle crash overnight.
The woman’s six-year-old son had also been in the vehicle at the time.
The child got out of the vehicle after the crash and walked nearly two kilometres to State Highway 6 where he was found just before 2am by a member of the public.
He was able to tell Police that his mother's vehicle had crashed and she was in the water but he couldn't get her out.
The incident sparked a full scale search and rescue operation.
“We put the call out for assistance and it was answered en masse by LandSAR volunteers, Fire and Emergency NZ, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, the Coastguard and members of the jet boating community,
We were also greatly assisted by the new Garden City Helicopter which had a search member on board with thermal imaging equipment.”
The woman was located at about 7.30am seven kilometres north of the Arahura River mouth on the beach.
It was established she had gone down the river and into the ocean before being washed ashore north of the river mouth.
She is currently being treated for hypothermia in Greymouth Hospital. Her son was unharmed and is in the care of relatives.
West Coast Police want to thank the large number of volunteers and partner agencies that assisted with the search for the woman.
Issued by Police Media Centre