Harriet was out on the water with her family when she had a freak accident.

It started as a normal Sunday afternoon spent tubing on Western Sydney’s Nepean River before the unthinkable happened.

Harriet Davis, 12, was out on the water with her twin sister, Audrey Davis, and father, Stuart Davis. She was sitting on the boat, holding onto the sea biscuit – the inflatable tube you sit on – when a heavy gust of wind flipped the tow-able, taking Harriet into the water. In a few seconds, the rope connecting the sea biscuit to the boat, severed Harriet’s left wrist on impact.

Sharing her story on Monday night’s episode of A Current Affair, her father described the moment he realised the extent of what had happened.

“I reached in to pull her out and I pulled her out by her right hand and as I’ve done that I’ve noticed her left hand was missing,” he said.

“It was the worst moment in my life, to be honest.”

What happened next was a mad dash to get Harriet to hospital while making every effort to recover her missing hand, within the two hour window.

“I then tried to restart the boat, but the boat wouldn’t restart,” recalled Stuart.

“We were stranded out in the water.”

Luckily they managed to flag down two jet-skiers, one of whom took her back to the boat ramp where Dr Sarah Tyrell was waiting to rush her to hospital.

Nepean River Harriet Davis
Harriet during recovery. Image: Channel 9 / A Current Affair.

However, despite the combined best efforts of two police boats, six divers, SES and local volunteers, they couldn't locate her hand.

"If there was to be some attempt of reattaching it, we know for certainty that every effort was tried," said Stuart.

Remembering the day, Harriet told Nine Network reporter, Dimity Simone, there's one moment she'll remember forever.

"I said 'Dad, am I gonna die?,' then he says 'no sweetie, but your life will change forever,' those words play through my mind everyday," she says.

Watch 12yo Harriet Davis talk about her accident here.

Video by MMC

Now six weeks later, Harriet is back to playing netball, juggling the ball with an agile precision akin to someone with a lot more practice.

Looking back at those fateful words her father told her as she was bleeding out on the water, he was right, her life did change forever, but her determination and resilience is beyond her years.

"That's how I roll, I don't let anything get in my way, I'm going to live life how I am and if anyone doesn't take me for who I am, they can deal with that.

"My message is don't take life for granted, live it how you want to live it and just be who you are."

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