A New Zealand camper came to the rescue of an 18-month-old boy after he spontaneously decided to go fishing from a different spot on the beach.
Two weeks ago, Gus Hutt woke up in the early hours of the morning so he could set up his fishing lines on Matata Beach in Whakatane.
Though he usually walks directly to the shoreline from Murphy’s Holiday Camp site, he decided to set up his fishing poles 350 feet (100 meters) away from his normal spot on the sands.
As he was monitoring his lines, however, he noticed something floating about 50 feet (15 meters) away from his rod. At first, he thought it was a doll – but as he pulled it from the water, he realized that it was a child after it “gave a small squeak.”
“He was floating at a steady pace with a rip in the water. If I hadn’t been there, or if I had just been a minute later I wouldn’t have seen him,” Hutt told the New Zealand Herald. “He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn’t meant to go; it wasn’t his time.”
According to BBC, it had been the boy’s first time at the beach. In his excitement to explore the area, he had unzipped his parents’ tent while they were asleep and crawled out onto the sands. Fortunately, his distance from the shoreline suggests that he wasn’t in the water for very long before Hutt saw him.
Shortly after he was rescued, he was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he was deemed to be in good health. Emergency response services alerted the parents to their son’s escape – and though they were “horrified” by the news, they were relieved that he was okay.
“It came as a shock to everyone. It was a very, very lucky result… it could have been a very tragic incident,” the camp’s owner told BBC. “It’s a freakish miracle.”
The parents made sure to thank Hutt before leaving the beach, and the fisherman remarked on how the boy seemed unaffected by the dramatic incident.
“He was wriggling trying to get down to have a look at everything, he was just a lovely, cheeky little fella,” he told the Herald.
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