(NAPIER, New Zealand) — A 12-year-old New Zealand boy who was swept out to sea by rough waters was rescued by beachgoers after they formed a human chain to pull the boy back to the shore.
Josh McQuiod had been playing with a friend along the water’s edge on Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand, on Sunday when he was whisked out to sea, according to One News in New Zealand.
McQuiod was dragged nearly 500 feet along the beach and fought eight long minutes for air against the pounding surf.
“The waves smashed me so much, there were five really big ones, they flipped me around quite a few times,” McQuiod told One News. “I think the longest for about 20 seconds.”
Constable Paul Bailey of the Napier Police was the first one into the water to attempt to rescue McQuiod, but he had a difficult time holding on to him.
“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,’” Bailey told One News.
Another police officer instructed others to form a human chain from the shoreline into the water to bring McQuiod and Bailey to safety.
McQuiod was unresponsive when he was brought back to shore. Once again, his rescuers stepped up and helped revive him before he was taken to a local hospital.
The dramatic video captured during the rescue shows more than a dozen people holding hands from the beach into the whitecap waves to bring the two to safety.
“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,” McQuiod told One News.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy and Natalie L. Gallón, CNN