A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy has a stranger to thank for saving him from drowning, after he was sucked beneath a flooded bridge.
Zac Rogan-Rae was on a family picnic at Bucca Crossing Bridge on Saturday with mum Nikki, his younger brother Ben and their next door neighbours.
The youngster was wading in knee-deep water when strong currents sucked him towards the bridge and into a pipe underneath.
The pipe was just big enough for his small body to fit inside, and Zac had only enough room “to wriggle around in” before he was pushed out and swallowed by the rapids on the other side.
“When I went under, I tried to pull myself back up (over the bridge),” he said.
“I was losing my breath at the end, and thankfully I came out.”
Miss Rogan had her back turned to the water as she was unpacking the lunch, when she heard a woman cry out, “somebody’s kid is drowning”.
“They (the kids) were only supposed to be in up to their knees,” she said.
The terrified mother, who is four months pregnant, ran to help her son, but lost her footing and fell.
A man standing nearby who was believed to be from the area but was unknown to the family, made a sudden dash for young Zac.
“He couldn’t carry me because the rapids would have taken both of us,” Zac said.
“So he pulled me out and passed me to my neighbour.”
The single mother said when she went to thank the man, he and his family had gone.
“I don’t know where to find him – this is the only way I can think of to thank him,” she said.
“I am just so grateful to him.”
Miss Rogan said the family “learned a dear lesson” that day.
“If that man wasn’t there – I really don’t want to think about what would have happened,” she said.
Zac, who has been having nightmares since the accident, said he would like to see his rescuer again to thank him.
“Thank you for saving my life,” he said.
Miss Rogan said her son should not have been playing in the water, and she “felt helpless” when she couldn’t get there in time to save him.
“It can happen in a split second,” she said.
“My kids do swimming lessons, but even that didn’t save him.”
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