Desperate beachgoers formed a human chain to battle “treacherous and dumping” waves to save a boy from drowning. Twelve-year-old Joshua McQuoid was caught by a wave and swept out while playing with a friend at the beach on Napier’s Marine Parade in New Zealand at 4.55pm on Sunday.
A German tourist went to the boy’s aid but was unable to keep a hold of him, a police spokesman said. The conditions were described as “treacherous with dumping waves and an extremely strong undertow”.
A police officer then swam to the boy but was unable to hold him due to the heavy surf. He was joined by a few members of the public who tried to help. A second officer entered the water and reached the boy, at times losing hold of him as the boy went underwater.
He was under for “considerable periods of up to 20 seconds at a time and fading fast”, police said.
About 12 members of the public and four police officers then desperately grabbed hold of each other to form a human chain, managing to pull the boy to shore. Initially he was “unresponsive, physically spent, and could not move unaided”.
He was moved up on to the beach where members of the public gave him first aid. Joshua’s father, Shane, said the family was grateful to the members of the public and the police who helped in the rescue.
“I just wish I could thank each and every one. Without them basically my son wouldn’t be here.”
Amazing rescue, great job.