Children rescue elderly man from stream

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The elderly man was stuck in the stream with water flowing up to his neck before the teens saved him. File photo / APN
The elderly man was stuck in the stream with water flowing up to his neck before the teens saved him. File photo / APN

An elderly man was rescued by group of teenagers after he slipped into a stream and was stuck in water up to his neck.

Ron Rolfe, 74, was walking his dog next to a stream in Rotorua just two days after leaving hospital following a stroke when the bank gave way and he slid about 3m down a bank and into the water.

"It just collapsed. I was stuck in the mud. I couldn't move. It happened so quickly," he said of the incident, which happened last month.

Moments later two young boys playing on the other side of the river yelled out asking if he was all right. He was unable to move his right leg to drag himself back up on to the bank.

"I yelled back 'no, I need some help'. I couldn't do anything," he said.

However, the young boys, aged about 11, weren't strong enough to pull his weight out of the water and mud.

"They couldn't budge me so they went and got some mates to come and help and they all pulled me out, I don't know how they did it. There were about six or eight of them," he said.

Mrs Rolfe said her husband could have drowned if the boys weren't there and made the decision to help him.

"That's a fast-flowing river. He probably would have drowned if they weren't there. He couldn't move," she said.

The children vanished following their achievement.

"The council or somebody needs to recognise them. They were blinkin' good kids. Ron could have easily been left to die but they did something to help and didn't ignore the situation," Mrs Rolfe said.

"They used super human strength to haul him out of there. No way could he have gotten out of there by himself. They need to be rewarded."

Mr Rolfe also wanted to thank them.

"What a great bunch of kids," he said.

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