Five people are recovering in hospital after their car was swept down a river at Milang, south of Adelaide.
The dramatic series of events unfolded about 4pm yesterday when five people in a van attempted to cross the flooded Angus River on Ballandown Road.
The car was swept away and travelled nearly 200 metres in fast flowing water.
Three people managed to scramble to safety while two others were able to sit on top of the vehicle and wait for help.
Hours later a passing farmer heard their cries when he was checking the river level.
"I don't think those girls would've lasted the night, I really don't, because it was only nine-thirty, ten o'clock when I saw them," farmer Ray McDonald said.
"Nobody else is going to go down that road, it's a closed road, nobody's checking stock or anything, that sort of thing, so the chances of me coming along were pretty slim."
Mr McDonald alerted the SES and CFS, who then rescued the group.
All were taken to the Strathalbyn Hospital suffering hypothermia.
Two others were then transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Their conditions are said to be stable, but the car is unsalvageable.
© ABC 2012
17:25 EST With lots of talk about the cracker start to the grain growing season, there are plenty of farmers who've missed out on that precious rain.