A New Zealand baby was taken from the sea when he floated past a fisherman in a so-called "miracle" rescue by water security experts, who warned that the accident could end in tragedy.
Gus Hutt was preparing fish in the morning when he saw what looked like a doll swinging past him in rip currents at Matata Beach in North Island's Bay of Plenty.
"I thought he was just a puppet," Hutt told Whakatane Beacon about the incident on October 26. "So I reached out and grabbed his arm, even then I still thought it was just a doll.
"His face looked like porcelain, with his short hair moistened, but then he let out a little squeak and I thought:" Oh God this is a baby and it's alive. & # 39; "
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It turned out that the "doll" was 18 months old Malachi Reeve, who had unzipped the tent of his sleeping parents, then walked out of the campsite on the beach and into the water, where the current caught him.
& # 39; Bloody lucky & # 39;
Hutt, a local, said that he had changed his usual routine a little and almost 100m from the normal place on the coastline when the object passed.
"He floated at a steady pace with tears in the water. If I wasn't there, or if I was just a minute later I wouldn't see it," Hutt said.
"He is lucky, but he is not destined to leave. This is not the time."
Malachi's parents were alerted and rushed to the camp reception, where Jessica Whyte's mother found her child "purple, cold and looks smaller than usual".
But after the care of the paramedics, he was given all that was clear and Whyte said he was not affected by his ordeal.
"He's alone. Maybe he will be more aware of water, not run to the beach. But he must be alone," he told the Stuff news site.
He said the toddler had been fascinated by the sea the day before and had to get up early to explore.
The chief executive of Water Safety in New Zealand Jonty Mills said the Malachi case might have ended happily but it showed the dangers facing children around the water.
"This is a very magical story of survival," he said.
"It's really just a matter of luck that fishermen are in the right place at the right time and are able to pull children out of the water."
He said seven pre-school schools sank last year in New Zealand and there were three fatalities involving children under five so far in 2018.
"It takes less than one minute for a child to sink," he said.
"The only way to keep babies and toddlers safe around the water is to monitor adults who are always active at all times."
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