All Finy van Wieren could see were two heads floating in the water - dust and dirt swirling around them.

The two Korean tourists she had noticed seconds before had all-but disappeared, along with part of the cliff face.

"We drove closer to the people - maybe a bit too close to the landslide, but we just wanted to help and we saw they couldn't swim and they were in pain," van Wieren said less than 24 hours after the ordeal.

She called out to her husband, Bernard: "You've got to help, they're hurt".

Advertisement

They had travelled in their land cruiser to Cape Kidnappers on what was just another "ordinary day".

Bernard van Wieren, left, and his wife, Finy were the first to help two tourists after a cliff collapsed, yet they don't consider themselves heroes. Photo / Supplied.
Bernard van Wieren, left, and his wife, Finy were the first to help two tourists after a cliff collapsed, yet they don't consider themselves heroes. Photo / Supplied.

About 2.30pm that all changed.

"It was pretty scary. We've been to the Cape lots of times and we've talked about the fact [slips] can be dangerous and it can happen anywhere and at any time."

Walkers watch as the slip falls, pushing two tourists into the sea. Photo / Supplied
Walkers watch as the slip falls, pushing two tourists into the sea. Photo / Supplied

While she called 111, her husband ran into the water. It was just them initially, before people with medical training on the Gannet Beach Adventures tour took over, she says.

There was also a boat in the water, but it was unable to come any closer.

"People from the Gannet Safari started climbing over [the slip] and the 111 man said get them out of there get them to safety, but there was so much wind, I couldn't shout."

As a volunteer firefighter in Holland prior to coming to New Zealand, Bernard knew what he had to do.

Slip on Cape Kidnappers: Two injured, one critical.

"Their heads were just above the ocean and they were trapped. They couldn't move themselves.

He says the tide was coming in "pretty fast" and their "limbs were loose".

"They would have drowned. I had to drag them over the boulders, that were all in the ocean, to the beach. That was a bit heavy, but it was alright."

Once on solid ground, they grabbed towels and water for the pair, while Finy continued to stay on the phone.

The pair both don't consider themselves heroes and didn't want to make a "fuss" of their involvement.

A Hawke's Bay District Health Board spokeswoman said this morning, a woman, in her 20s was in the intensive care unit in a critical, but stable condition.

Patrick O'Sullivan Local Focus Video

A man, also in his 20s, was in a stable condition.