New Zealand fisherman's ocean rescue of toddler 'miraculous'

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New Zealand fisherman's ocean rescue of toddler 'miraculous'
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo fisherman Gus Hutt is with his wife Sue where he saved saved 18-month-old Malachi Reeve after he had escaped from his parents' tent at Matata Beach, near Whakatane, New Zealand. Hutt was fishing when he plucked a toddler from the ocean in a "miraculous" rescue after thinking he was watching a doll float past. (Troy Baker/Whakatane Beacon via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand fisherman has plucked a toddler from the ocean in a “miraculous” rescue after thinking he was watching a doll float past.

Gus Hutt was at the beach checking his fishing lines at about 7:15 a.m. on Oct. 26 when he spotted the 18-month-old boy. He told the Whakatane Beacon newspaper that the face looked like porcelain and he thought it was a doll until he heard a squeak and realized with shock that the toddler was still alive.

The boy had escaped from his parent’s tent after the family had camped at Matata Beach on the North Island.

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