On October 26, Matata local fisherman Guss Hutt was busy doing his routine as a fisherman when he noticed something floating on the sea. At first, he thought that a doll might have floated to the middle of the ocean from the sure. To his surprise, the floating doll let out a sound and that’s when he found out that the he wasn’t really looking at an inanimate object, but it was an actual baby!
“His face looked like porcelain with his short hair wetted down, but then he let out a little squeak and I thought, ‘oh God, this is a baby and it’s alive’,” Guss told Whakatane Beacon. “He was floating at a steady pace with a rip in the water. If I hadn’t been there, or if I had just been a minute later I wouldn’t have seen him,” he added.
When Jessica Whyte was woken up by the camp manager of Murphy’s Holiday Camp with the news about her 18-month-old baby, she initially thought that it was some sick joke. “I don’t think my heart [beat] from hearing that to seeing him. I don’t think my heart worked,” she told Stuff.
According to Jessica, her baby, Malachi, might have run away from their campgrounds early that morning and went to the sea out of curiosity. Luckily for Malachim Guss was able to find him floating 100 meters away from his usual fishing spot. At that time, however, the baby has already drifted towards the deeper end of the sea and looked like he has suffered from what happened.
When Jessica finally saw Malachi, he was cold, purple, and was smaller than usual. Thankfully, though, Malachi didn’t get any injuries from what happened. He was rescued at around 7:45 in the morning and is now safe back in his mother’s arms.
As for Jessica, she took her experience as a lesson to be extra careful with his baby especially when they are out camping. “Zip your tents up. And zip them up nice and high if you’ve got a child that can reach. Put them on a padlock,” she said. “We wouldn’t let him run into the water by his own. People can have those [judgmental] thoughts. They can think we’re a bad parent,” Jessica added.
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