Deckhand Helps Rescue Couple Trapped in the French Riviera Floods

5 October 2015

Deckhand Teone Capper came to the rescue over the weekend,helping save the lives of an elderly couple as violent storms and severe flashfloods inundated the French Riviera.

According to the media, the storms ravaged the Côte d’Azurlate Saturday, bringing seven inches of rain in a mere three hours and directlyaffecting Vallauris-Golfe-Juan, Antibes, Cannes, Nice Mandelieu-La-Napoule andBiot. CNN reports that a representative from the French-Maritime region policeconfirmed that 19 people were dead and two were missing as of Monday.

Capper, 24, was staying at a riverside campground in Biot,watching movies with three mates, when the River Brague burst its banks,sending waves that killed three people at the campsite, according to reports.

He and his mates went outside to see the storm, only towitness a rapid coming down the street, washing away furniture.

“We saw the water level just rise all of a sudden,” Cappertold “The water justrose really fast; in thirty seconds it was up to our waists.”

They went back inside to grab gear and were readying toleave when they saw lights come on in a nearby caravan before the power wentout.

“The lady in there was just screaming; we knew that theywere in shock and we knew that we had to do something,” Capper said.

They swam back through the torrent of water and successfullyrescued the couple, bringing them to safety.

As they made it to the entrance, Capper heard more peoplescreaming and went back to try and help another elderly man trapped in hiscaravan, but the water had tilted too far for the man’s door to open. Capper,who told his mother in a text message that the man was too fragile climb out thewindow on the other side, had to abandon this second rescue attempt as a carbegan floating toward him.

Reports state that he tried to convince the group to go backand help, but they were too much in shock to do so. When rescuers arrived,Capper directed them to the caravan, which they were able to reach by boat andfree the man.

Capper, along with 40 others, was holed up in a two-storybuilding awaiting rescue, according to his Facebook page. The New ZealandHerald reports that he and 200 others were moved to an evacuation center latelast night.

Capper, a New Zealand native, had just completed crewtraining at Mahurangi Technical Institute and worked as a deckhand in theAukland region before relocating to Antibes, according to his father PeterCapper, who said his son was set to sign a 12-month superyacht contract verysoon.

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