Turns out we don’t have a monopoly on heroism

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

Peter Hanne, a New Zealand teenager, is being commended in that country’s press for his dramatic rescue of truck driver Paul Clarke, whose tractor-trailer combo had been pushed by mighty winds in the Waioeka Gorge, south of Opitiki, into a mishap that had it hanging on the edge of the Gorge for a full 45 minutes, poised to fall into the Waioeka River. Hanne climbed atop the combo, broke the tractor’s rear window with a wheel brace and pulled Clarke to safety.

As Clarke wrote to the New Zealand Herald after a report surfaced earlier this month about the incident, “>[Hanne] had the confidence of an experienced rescuer, giving no thought for his own life to rescue me…. If my truck had gone, he would have gone with me. I cannot thank him or praise him enough, as without his help who knows what may have been…. If there is a bravery awards scheme, I would like to nominate him. I have suffered broken ribs, but it could have been far worse. I cannot thank him enough and also his Mum for the blanket and tea. As a Briton who has been in New Zealand for only seven months, I cannot believe Peter’s selfless bravery.” Visit the link above for the rest of the story and pictures of both Clarke and Hanne.