New Zealand fisherman plucks drowning toddler from the sea

Posted by On 11:56 AM

New Zealand fisherman plucks drowning toddler from the sea

Gus Hutt was fishing out on the New Zealand beach of Matata just after sunrise late last month when he spotted what he thought was a doll floating by.

Curious, the fisherman picked it up â€" only to find it was not a doll at all, but a toddler who had escaped from his parents’ nearby tent and crawled out to sea.

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“His face looked like porcelain with his short hair wetted down, but then he let out a little squeak and I thought, ‘Oh God, this is a baby and it’s alive,’ ” Hutt told the Whakatane Beacon, a local newspaper.

Hutt said the 18-month-old boy was floating at a steady pace, and that it was only by sheer chance he’d stumbled upon him, as he typically set up shop to fish 300 feet to the right of where he was that fateful day.

“If I hadn’t been there, or if I had just been a minute later I wouldn’t have s een him,” Hutt said. “He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn’t meant to go; it wasn’t his time.”

He and his wife, Sue, with the boy in tow, reached out to the managers of Murphy’s Holiday Camp and asked if any of the property’s visitors were staying with a baby.

One family fit the bill, and Sue quickly ran over to inform the mother, Jessica Whyte, that her son had been plucked from the sea, according to the Whakatane Beacon.

“I don’t think my heart (beat) from hearing that to seeing him. I don’t think my heart worked,” Whyte told Stuff of her son Malachi.

Malachi was treated by the local fire department and taken to the hospital, but has since recovered, says Whyte, who adds her son is “definitely himself” again after the incident.

The toddler is believed to have pulled the zipper up on his parents’ tent as they slept, crawled underneath the flap and entered the water.

“(Later) I followed his tracks down to the beach and saw his little footprints in the sand where he walked in,” Hutt said.

Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand

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