Fisherman Spots 18-Month-Old Baby Floating by in ‘Freakish Miracle’

The baby was scooped out of the water at Matata Bay in northern New Zealand

The baby was scooped out of the water at Matata Bay in northern New Zealand

"In an wonderful stroke of luck, Hutt was there to rescue an 18-month-old boy who had escaped from his parents" tent at a holiday camp near Matata Beach early on the morning of October 26, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Keen angler Gus Hutt was setting up for a morning's fishing at Matata Beach on the North Island late last month when he spotted what he initially thought was a doll in the water and moved closer to investigate.

It was lucky he even spotted the boy, Mr Hutt said, explaining he only made a decision to fish in that spot - different to usual - that morning.

"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'".

The boy's mother, Jessica Whyte, was woken by camp managers who told her what had happened.

Though he usually walks directly to the shoreline from Murphy's Holiday Camp site, he chose to set up his fishing poles 350 feet (100 meters) away from his normal spot on the sands. In his excitement to explore the area, he had unzipped his parents' tent while they were asleep and crawled out onto the sands. "I must've just missed seeing him go in".

Mr Hutt told the New Zealand Herald: "He was floating at a steady pace with a rip in the water".

Mr Hutt added the boy was "bloody lucky" he chose to check his lines, believing the child could have been pulled away in the rip.

"I don't think my heart (beat) from hearing that to seeing him".

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"Oh god it was awesome seeing him", she told Stuff.

"My husband came around the corner with the baby in his arms", she said.

Hutt said Malachi was doing just fine when his parents stopped by to thank him.

Emergency services attended to him for 15 minutes before he was taken to hospital.

She said she knows some other parents will judge her, but she is more concerned about getting out a message from her own harrowing experience: "Zip your tents up".

Whyte with her son, Malachi.

Mr Hutt said he later followed the boy's "little footprints" to the beach and saw where he had entered the water.

She is now warning parents to ensure their tents are fully zipped when camping with children. "Put them on a padlock". It's a freakish miracle'.

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