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Divers search West Coast river for toddler

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/06/2016 Cleo Fraser

Police divers will continue the search for two-year-old Emily Saunders who was swept away in a river on the West Coast a week ago.

The two-year-old girl was in a 4WD with her parents and another man, Barry Petrie, when the vehicle became submerged while crossing the swollen Poerua River, south of Hokitika, on June 9.

The couple managed to make it to safety but Emily and Mr Petrie were swept away.

The body of the 66-year-old was found the following day but there has been no sign of Emily.

A search for the young girl has been stalled since Monday night due to high river levels and poor weather.

A police spokeswoman told NZ Newswire conditions had improved and police divers would continue scouring the river on Thursday morning.

Emily's parents, local farmers Sandra and Michael, have said they will be forever grateful to Mr Petrie for trying to save their little girl. His funeral will be held in Greymouth on Friday.

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