‘He was bloody lucky’: A fisherman pulled a toddler from the sea alive after he escaped the tent where his parents were sleeping

A shot of the beach from the campsite. Murphy’s Holiday Camp

A toddler was miraculously pulled from the water alive at a beach in New Zealand after he wandered away from his parents’ tent while they were sleeping.

Fisherman Gus Hutt, who visits Bay of Plenty beach each morning, had coincidentally made a decision set his poles 100m further down the beach from his regular spot.

Looking in the water, he saw what he thought was a doll. But when he went to pick it up, realised it was a baby.

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

“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.

“He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn’t meant to go; it wasn’t his time.”

Hutt’s wife alerted the nearby campsite and found out there was only one child staying there at the time.

When they found the parents, who were still sleeping, “the mother just screamed,” said Hutt.

The 18-month-old was taken to Whakatāne Hospital, and later that day was release having made a full recovery.

More here.