The kayaker whose rescue from the notorious Grey River was captured on camera has spoken of his relief at being saved.
In an exclusive interview, Jethro Huntly told MediaWorks he couldn't say thank you enough to those who rescued him.
Huntly's rescue was filmed by artist Brian J Hunter, who uploaded the entire rescue to his Facebook page.
"I made a bad call and ended up in a spot that I knew was going to cause me a bit of trouble," he told MediaWorks.
"I'm lucky to be here right now.
I know the current there and I know it's extremely strong and I also knew I had no chance against it."
CoastGuard New Zealand said the bystanders' quick actions saved his life.
Alongside his video, cameraman Hunter said: "Not a very good Idea to take your Kayak out on the Greymouth Bar today, with it being so rough, and to risk yours and other's lives."