As Zach Stratford lay in the riverbed with a shattered leg, he could hear his dogs barking.
With the sun going down, and the temperature plummeting below freezing, he knew he had to move.
Abandoning his crashed dirt bike, and cursing that he'd not taken his cellphone with him, he clenched his teeth through the pain, and started crawling across the stony riverbed.
Hours later, he'd covered just 200m. His hands were swollen, broken left kneecap in agony. And he was bitterly cold.
The 20-year-old apprentice engineer had decided to take his new dirt bike for a spin at around 4.30pm on Sunday.
Wearing gumboots and a checked shirt, he rode down the back of the farm just outside Temuka in South Canterbury where he lives with his partner Brittany O'Connor, 27, which backs onto the Opihi River.
But while riding at around 20km/h, he struck a hole and smashed his knee on the handlebars.
Stratford soon knew he had shattered bones and was in a bad way. Nobody knew where he was.
At around 10.30pm, O'Connor got home – just 2km away - and cursed Stratford for not closing the curtains, lighting the fire, or letting the dogs out.
But when she saw his keys, wallet and cellphone inside the house, she immediately feared something was up. His motorbike was gone and she thought he can't have gone far.
"But where?" wondered the dairy farm second-in-charge.
"Where the hell could he be and which way did he go?"
She'd seen him bike down by the river before so she headed for a look in the dark.
With her ute's lights on full-beam, she ventured into the riverbed, trying to spot bike tracks.
She stopped, turned the truck off, and yelled his name. Nothing.
O'Connor went further down the road and entered the riverbed from another track.
Again, she stopped and called out.
Later, she'd find out that Stratford could hear her, and see her truck's lights, but was too weak to shout out loud enough for her to hear.
While she was searching, O'Connor phoned friends to help join the hunt, along with registering him as a missing person and dialing 111.
She also got onto a two-wheel motorbike herself and started scanning the riverbed.
At about 10.45pm, she found him.
"He was pretty excited to see me and I was pretty excited to see him. I felt a sigh of relief that I found him alive and he was okay," O'Connor said.
"I said, 'What have you done?', and he said, 'I think I've broken my leg'."
His hands were also swollen from dragging himself along. He was extremely cold, with the mercury registering -2C, and O'Connor helped him inside the truck to warm him up and wait for an ambulance.
"He's bloody lucky that I found him before he got hypothermic and gone into a state of shock," she said.
Stratford was taken to Timaru Hospital by ambulance.
He'll undergo an operation on his leg today or tomorrow (Thursday) and hopes to be allowed home later in the week.
Doctors say it'll be at least six weeks before he can walk unaided again.
O'Connor doubts he'll be rushing to get back on his bike.
But if he does, he'll definitely be taking his phone with him – or at least letting her know of his plans.
"He's going to be okay, but man, it was quite an episode," she says.
"I can't think of anything worse, personally, than being stuck and lost somewhere and people trying to find you and seeing everything going on. He could see the lights, hear the dogs barking, but was completely helpless. It was awful."