Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

'Miracle' as New Zealand toddler rescued from sea

'Miracle' as New Zealand toddler rescued from sea

An 18-month-old boy is lucky to be alive after he wandered from his parents' tent on a New Zealand beach and was swept away into the ocean.

Gus Hutt, who was fishing at a beach near a holiday park in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island, thought he was pulling a doll from the ocean before realising he had rescued a baby when the boy "let out a little squeak". "Even as I reached out and grabbed him by the arm, I still thought it was a doll".

Mr Hutt continued: "He let out a little squeak and I thought, "Oh God this is a baby and it's alive".

The boy's mother, Jessica Whyte, was woken by camp managers who told her what had happened.

Usually, he said, he headed out straight from the camp to fish from the beach but on that Friday, he had made a decision to walk a 100 metres to the left, towards Tauranga. 'I don't think my heart [beat] from hearing that to seeing him.

"He was floating at a steady pace with a rip in the water".

"He just wasn't meant to go; it wasn't his time". I don't think my heart worked. "It was frightful in between hearing that and seeing him", she said.

Salter said she and her husband were drinking coffee and planning out their day when the drama unfolded.

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Turns out the child had escaped his parents' tent at Murphy's Holiday Camp, where Hutt usually goes to fish.

"If I hadn't been there, or if I had just been a minute later I wouldn't have seen him", said Hutt, according to Stuff.

The child was initially treated by local emergency services before being taken by ambulance to Whakatane Hospital.

'It was disgusting in between hearing that and seeing him, ' Ms Whyte told Stuff.

"[Later] I followed his tracks down to the beach and saw his little footprints in the sand where he walked in", said Gus Hutt.

She is now warning parents to ensure their tents are fully zipped when camping with children.

She said Mr Hutt brought the boy to them before they wrapped the youngster in towels. "It was a very, very lucky could have been a very tragic incident", Rebecca Salter, co-owner of the camp, told the BBC.

A police spokesperson confirmed they had attended the scene, but were taking no further action.

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