Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Zealand fisherman stumbles across toddler in the sea

New Zealand fisherman stumbles across toddler in the sea

Mr Hutt, who was fishing on Matata beach, at the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, told Whakatane Beacon: "I reached out and grabbed him by the arm; even then I still thought it was just a doll".

Water Safety New Zealand chief executive Jonty Mills said Malachi's case may have ended happily but it showed the dangers children face around water.

In what's being described as a "freakish miracle" a fisherman pulled an 18-month-old-baby out of the ocean in New Zealand last month.

Murphy's Holiday Camp co-owner Rebecca Salter told The Associated Press that the rescue was "miraculous and fateful" after Hutt had made a decision to fish at a different spot than usual.

After returning to check his lines at 7.15am, he saw the seemingly lifeless baby floating in the water.

"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 said. "He was bloody lucky but he just wasn't meant to go".

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The toddler had unzipped his family's tent at Murphy's Holiday Camp and walked to the beach without waking his sleeping parents on October 26. When the parents were located, the mother "screamed" when she found out her baby was rescued from the water.

The co-owner of Murphy's Holiday Camp, Rebecca Salter, told CNN that Hutt's wife alerted the campsite after finding the child, and brought him back to be wrapped in a towel. I don't think my heart worked. "I must've just missed seeing him go in", Hutt said.

But after treatment from paramedics he was given the all clear and Whyte said he was unaffected by his ordeal.

The boy's mother, Jessica Whyte, was woken up around 7:30 the news that her son, Malachi, was found floating in the sea but that he appeared to be unscathed.

He was treated by emergency services with the Matata Volunteer Fire Brigade for 15 minutes before being transferred to Whakatāne Hospital "for a checkup in a moderate condition". When he later traced the baby's footprints down the beach, he said that Malachi entered the water about 15 metres away from where he had been fishing. "Put them on a padlock", she said.

She added: 'It came as a shock to everyone.

Hutt said that when he was reunited with Malachi after the family stopped by to offer their thanks on their way home.

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