New Zealand fisherman Gus Hutt says he plucked what he thought was a porcelain doll from the ocean—and then it made a noise. In an amazing stroke of luck, Hutt was there to rescue an 18-month-old boy who had escaped from his parents' tent at a holiday camp near Matata Beach early on the morning of Oct. 26, the New Zealand Herald reports. Hutt says he usually fishes at a spot straight out from Murphy's Holiday Camp, but spotted the boy floating in the water after choosing a spot 100 yards to the left and checking his fishing lines. "His face looked just 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,'" Hutt says.
The toddler had undone the zip on his parents' tent and crawled under a flap while they were sleeping. Hutt found him at around 7:15am. "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," Hutt says. "He was bloody lucky, but he just wasn't meant to go; it wasn't his time." The boy's mother screamed when told the boy had been found floating in the water. Camp co-owner Rebecca Salter tells the BBC that it was a "freakish miracle" that the child was saved. The toddler was taken to a hospital, but Hutt says he seemed perfectly fine when the parents came to thank him. "He was wriggling trying to get down to have a look at everything, he was just a lovely, cheeky little fella," he says. (This 2-year-old in Japan survived three days lost on a mountain.)