A “human chain” saved a boy from drowning in the ocean in New Zealand. The 12-year-old boy was playing with a friend along the water’s edge when he was swept out to sea by rough waters.
Beachgoers formed a human chain to human chain to pull him back to shore. The boy, Josh McQuiod, was dragged almost 500 feet along the beach on Marine Parade in Napier.
He also fought for eight minutes against the pounding surf before the rescue was successful. McQuiod recalled, “The waves smashed me so much, there were five really big ones, they flipped me around quite a few times.”
Constable Paul Bailey was the first one into the water to rescue the boy, but he found it difficult to hold on to McQuiod. Another police officer was able to organize the human chain from the shoreline into the water where the constable and the 12-year-old boy were fighting.
At first, Bailey questioned his decision to dive after the boy. He recalled, “A few times under the waves I was thinking, ‘Have I done the right thing charging in here? Is it going to be two bodies they’re looking for.” But the human chain worked.
When he was pulled up on the beach, Josh McQuiod was unresponsive. His rescuers once again stepped in and saved him. They revived him and he was taken to a local hospital. One onlooker captured a dramatic video of the incident, which showed more than a dozen people holding hands from the beach into the rough ocean waters.
McQuiod was incredibly grateful for his rescue, which could have easily gone awry. He said of his rescuers, “I’d love to thank them so much for what they did. They saved my life. If it wasn’t for them I’d be dead.”
But thanks to the human chain, the boy was saved from drowning. While he may take to the beaches of New Zealand again, it will likely be a while before Josh McQuiod takes his eyes off the waves.
[Image via ShutterStock]