Scooped just in time

2014-01-09 00:00

STELLENBOSCH — Three-day-old Zak Rautenbach from Montagu will have an interesting story to tell about his birth one day.

It all started on Tuesday, when his mother, Elsje, crossed a flooded river in the scoop of a large backhoe excavator to be in time to deliver him by Caesarean.

“Elsje had to go for her Caesarean, but the only bridge to the farm was flooded on Tuesday morning and it did not look as if the water would go down in time,” the proud father, Anton, said yesterday after the birth of his baby boy, who came into the world healthy and weighing 3,4 kg.

“Our neighbour, Jean-Pierre Jordaan, suggested using a backhoe. My wife and I got into the scoop.”

Jordaan, who operated the backhoe, said the transfer over the river took only five minutes. “I chose the narrowest part of the river and drove into the centre of it. Elsje and Anton then got into the scoop on one side and I swung them across to the other. I was a bit worried, but all ended well.”

Yesterday the river was still flooded and the farm still cut off. Zak’s grandmother, Erna, who stayed on the farm, said the bridge was still under high water and they did not know when the water would go down.

Rautenbach said he was grateful to everyone who helped.

“It was a to-do, but these things are part of living on a farm,” he said.

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