On Sunday, a quick-thinking New Zealand police officer instructed beachgoers to form a human chain, which saved a 12-year-old boy from drowning.
Josh McQuoid was playing with friends in shallow waters at Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand when he was suddenly washed out to sea and on the verge of drowning to death. The currents pulled him for about eight minutes and dragged him almost 500 feet down the shore as the rough surf continued to pound him underwater.
“The waves smashed me so much, there were five really big ones, they flipped me around quite a few times,” said McQuoid. “I think the longest for about 20 seconds.”
The first one to enter the water and attempt a rescue was Constable Paul Bailey of the Napier Police. However, he too received a beating from the waves and was unable to keep hold of the boy. Bailey even admitted that at more than one moment he worried about his own survival and wondered if officials would have to look for two bodies instead of one.
Finally, another police officer advised onlookers to form a human chain from the shore into the water in an effort to rescue both McQuoid and Constable Bailey.
When McQuid was pulled onto the beach he was unconscious but the beachgoers continued to help and revived the boy until an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
Images of the scene show over a dozen strangers, hand in hand, generously working to save a child they had never met.
“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,” McQuoid told One News.