The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010
SEAN Gini Wayabe of Kilibe village, near Hedemari in Southern Highlands, is lucky to be alive.
Young Sean tried to cross the swollen Tagari River but the fast flowing waters swept him downstream towards dangerous rocks and rapids.
Luckily, he managed to climb on a small island in the middle of the river and after some hours gained the attention of people on the river bank.
Unfortunately, the width of the river and the speed of the water prevented anything being thrown across to him.
A crowd gathered on both sides of the river and Martin Anguali, an Oil Search Ltd employee on break, used a mobile phone to pass an alert to the company’s emergency coordinator.
With more rain falling upriver and the waters rising, time was running out for the boy.
To his relief, an Oil Search rescue helicopter from Hides arrived in time and guided by fires lit on the river banks, brought him to safety only moments before the island he was clinging to submerged beneath the floodwaters.