Wairarapa emergency services responded to a report of a man who had become stranded on the rocks of the Ruamāhanga River at Double Bridges, off Bluff Rangitūmau Rd, Masterton, at around 3.45pm on Wednesday.
It was reported that the man – who was with his two dogs – got into trouble after getting into the river to save one of his dogs.
While the dog was able to swim back to land and was unharmed, the man eventually realised the current was too strong for him to swim back to safety because the river was in flood.
According to Masterton Fire’s station officer Andy Simpson, the man had been stranded on the rocks for about an hour before he was able to attract the attention of someone who could call for help.
A handful of bystanders looked on in anticipation as the rope rescue crew from Fire and Emergency Services [Fenz] worked diligently to pull the man up the bank from the rocks.
It took a total of 35–40 minutes to extract the man from the time the two Masterton brigades arrived at the scene with a 10-person crew and set up equipment.
Simpson told the Times-Age that although Fenz had the equipment to save the man, the rescue itself was “reasonably tricky” due to high water levels and the man being in a “dicey predicament”.
A police spokesperson said the man suffered minor injuries.
Meanwhile, as summer approaches and the allure of the many popular river swimming spots dotted across the region grows, Simpson advised against entering rivers if the water is discoloured and the current is moving fast.