31 Jul 2013

Rescuer reunited with boy pulled from car

8:49 pm on 31 July 2013

A man who smashed a sinking car's window to retrieve a toddler in Nelson has met the boy for the first time since saving him.

Kyle Paki Paki was one of four rescuers who met the boy and his family this week on Monday after jumping in to Saltwater Creek on 13 July.

Two-year-old Ali Fa'avae-Mika and his grandfather were saved, but his 68-year-old grandmother died after their car crossed QE2 Drive and crashed into the creek about midday.

Mr Paki Paki brought the boy to the surface after spotting him in the back, left-hand side of the vehicle.

The 28-year-old told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Wednesday the hardest part of the rescue was breaking the window, which took a lot of strength underwater.

Mr Paki Paki says someone passed him a tyre iron which he used to smash the glass before releasing the boy from his seatbelt.

He says the toddler seemed lifeless when he brought him to the surface, but he was acting like a normal two-year-old at this week's meeting.