A fisherman is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a toddler drowning in the ocean.
Gus Hutt told the New Zealand Herald it was pure luck that he was there in time to save the unidentified 18-month-old on October 26. According to local reports, the baby had wandered away from his parents. The family was staying in a tent at nearby Murphy’s Holiday Camp, located on the coast of New Zealand, and the baby had apparently unzipped the tent while his parents were sleeping before toddling down to the beach on his own.
Incredibly, the fisherman initially didn’t even realize it was a child floating by him.
“As he floated past I thought he was just a doll,” Gus recalled. “So, I reached out and grabbed him by the arm; even then I still thought it was just 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.’”
Gus said he typically takes another route when he goes fishing, but that particular day he decided to walk 100 meters to the left. It was that seemingly random decision that led the hero to find the motionless baby in the nick of time.
“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 told the New Zealand Herald. “He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn’t meant to go; it wasn’t his time.”
After he pulled the baby from the water, Gus told his wife, Sue, who ran to the camp and alerted the parents. Emergency services arrived to help the tot, who was then taken to Whakatane Hospital for treatment. Miraculously, he was completely fine. Gus reported that when the parents later stopped by to thank him before returning home, you couldn’t even tell anything had happened to the boy.
“He was wriggling trying to get down to have a look at everything, he was just a lovely, cheeky little fella,” he remarked.
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