Fisherman pulls 18-month baby from ocean

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A New Zealand fisherman has rescued an 18-month-old boy from the ocean, in an incident described as a “freakish miracle”.

Gus Hutt, a holiday camper staying on Matata Beach on North Island, was fishing when he spotted a small figure floating in the water.

He first thought it was a doll and only realised it was a baby after he “let out a little squeak”.

The boy had escaped from his parents’ tent and ended up in the ocean.

“I thought he was a doll. [Even as] I reached out and grabbed him by the arm, I still thought it was a doll,” Mr Hutt told local outlet the NZ Herald.

“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’.”

Mr Hutt, who was staying at Murphy’s Holiday Camp located in the coastal town of Matata, was out on a nearby beach on 26 October at about 06:15 New Zealand time (17:15GMT).

According to the Herald, Mr Hutt would usually head straight from the camp to fish on the beach, but decided on that day to fish at a different spot – 100m to the left.

After checking his fishing lines, he spotted the boy floating in the water.

“He was floating at a steady pace…if I had been just a minute later I wouldn’t have seen him,” Mr Hutt said.

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

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