A Christchurch woman rescued from the sea in England after a 12-hour ordeal did not call her parents after her rescue because she didn't want to ruin their wedding anniversary.
On Monday Renee Potgieter, 21, was swimming on the Cornwall coast with her friend Shane Davis, a lifeguard from Christchurch, when a rip swept her out to sea.
Mr Davis, 22, managed to pull Miss Potgieter to safety and the pair huddled in a nearby sea cave waiting to be rescued as she drifted in and out of consciousness. They were eventually rescued after Mr Davis went for help and was spotted by rescuers.
Miss Potgieter's mother Lesley told The Star that the first she had heard of the incident was in the newspaper. "I noticed a wee bit in the paper about a Christchurch life guard who rescued a woman, and we knew immediately that it was going to be Renee and Shane," she said.
"Renee chose not to ring and tell us about it, and told her friends not to tell us about it because she didn't want to spoil our 25th anniversary. She was going to call us the next day. I managed to ring Shane and he confirmed it and put us in the picture& it gave us quite a fright, we were really shocked."
Mrs Potgieter has since spoken to her daughter, who is recovering in hospital from hypothermia.
"She was quite shaken up. She also has a lot of cuts and bruises from being battered against the rocks, but she's recovering well. She will be fine,"
Miss Potgieter should be released from hospital by the weekend, and will remain in England. She travelled to London two weeks ago to start a two-year working holiday in the United Kingdom, and had only arrived in Cornwall on Sunday.
Mrs Potgieter said her daughter was incredibly lucky she was with Mr Davis, who was a lifeguard at New Brighton Beach, when the incident happened.