A man who helped rescue a couple and their nine month old baby from rising flood waters says he got to them just in time.
Marcus Gardner says the conditions were difficult and worsening.
"I wouldn't have wanted them out there a lot longer. The weather got worse and it could have got scary."
Police say the couple were rescued from their stranded four-wheel drive by boat from the Waimea River about 10.30pm.
They praise the rescuers including Mr Gardner, who they say worked in "very challenging conditions".
"It was blowing a gale and the waters were still quite swift," Mr Gardner, who is the President of the Nelson Surf Lifesaving Club, said.
A local farmer helped Mr Gardner and a colleague negotiate the flooded land and avoid hidden hazards under the water, like branches.
They had to attempt their rescue of the couple twice.
Mr Gardner says the couple had gone out to look at the flooding. He says they were damp and cold when rescued, but otherwise fine.
"Most people you rescue are often a little bit disbelieving. They only realise later where they were, what situation they were in," he said.