Video: Motorcyclist clings to tree in flooded river as helicopter rescues him

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A truck driver thought he'd killed a motorcyclist when he lost control on a Canterbury bridge this morning, sending the rider plummeting into the freezing river below.

The rider, a 47-year old from Rangiora, clung on to a semi-submerged tree for around 40 minutes before a rescue helicopter winched him to safety.

Video courtesy of