Escaped 18-month-old baby rescued from the ocean by fisherman in 'freakish miracle'
An 18-month-old baby boy was recently saved from near-certain death after being pulled out of the ocean by a fisherman.
The miraculous incident happened at 6.15am on October 26th when Gus Hutt, a fisherman who was camping on Matata Beach on North Island, New Zealand, spotted what he thought was a toy in the open water. As he got closer, however, the child made a noise, urging Hutt to investigate.
"I thought he was a doll," he told the NZ Herald. "[Even as] I reached out and grabbed him by the arm, I still thought it was a doll. His face looked just 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 jumped to action immediately, retrieving the little boy from the water.
Unharmed and still breathing, the baby was incredibly lucky to have been spotted - especially as the fisherman did not usually visit that particular location. What's more, the little one was being carried along by the tide at the time, so Hutt might not have noticed him if he'd arrived any later.
"He was floating at a steady pace... if I had been just a minute later, I wouldn't have seen him," the fisherman said. "He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn't meant to go, it wasn't his time."
Hutt's wife, Sue, alerted staff at the camping ground about the child her husband had found in the water. The grounds' owner, Rebecca Salter, immediately knew who it belonged to, as there was only one couple with a baby staying on the campsite at the time.
"Apparently the baby had been very excited to be on the beach. It was the couple's first night staying here. It's the first time they've been here," Salter explained to the BBC. "Hutt, who is a fisherman and one of our regulars, spotted the baby. [They brought the baby to us], we wrapped him up in towels and Sue went to inform the baby's parents."
The emergency services were also called to the scene, but the baby was confirmed to be alright.
According to the child's parents, the boy had managed to undo the zipper of their tent from the inside before crawling all the way to the water's edge. The baby's mother reportedly screamed when she heard that her son had wound up in the ocean, but was incredibly grateful to Hutt when she heard what had happened.
"It came as a shock to everyone. It was a very, very lucky result ... it could have been a very tragic incident," said Salter. "It's a freakish miracle."
The police went to the scene to investigate the incident, but found that the child was "ok" and that there were no suspicious circumstances involved.
Any longer in the ocean and it's likely that the baby would have succumbed to the cold or drowned in the water, so he is incredibly lucky to have been found. Hutt is certainly a hero in this situation, as his actions saved a life that day.