Police in Canterbury are hailing two boys as heroes for pulling an unconscious driver from a submerged vehicle.
A Toyota Hilux travelling south of Christchurch left the road and crashed into the Halswell River at about 5.40pm on Sunday.
Senior Constable Jim Manning says Angus Bailey and Liam Robinson, who are both 14, were nearby when they heard the crash and immediately biked to the scene. When they saw the vehicle in the river, with the cab partly submerged, they jumped in.
Mr Manning says they found the driver unconscious with his head underwater, got the cab door open and pulled him out and up onto the bank. They also checked the cab in case anyone else was trapped inside.
The driver is now in hospital, and police says there's no doubt the boys saved his life.
Angus Bailey told Checkpoint he and Liam were swimming when they heard a loud thud and went to check it out. He says they knew immediately they had to get the man from the car, keep him breathing and call emergency services.
He says rescue staff told them the driver had minutes to live when he was rescued.
He has heard the man is doing well and hopes to meet him.