Video: Beachgoers form 'human chain' to save boy from drowning in New Zealand

A group of people, including tourists and police, joined together to form a human chain to save a boy from drowning in the sea at a beach in New Zealand.

Joshua McQuoid, 12, was swept out to sea has he played by the shore at Napier's Marine Parade on Sunday.

His friend, Hikiroa Rapatu, rushed to alert other beachgoers for help. A German tourist was first on the scene, but was unable to get the boy out of the water on his own.

According to the Scotsman, conditions were described as "treacherous with dumping waves and an extremely strong undertow".

Other members of the public, as well as police, then joined together and linked arms in a bid to use their combined weight to pull Joshua out of the water.

The rescue attempt was successful and he was sent to Hawke's Bay Hospital, where he was later discharged.

Napier Constable Paul Bailey, who stripped off to his underwear when he arrived on the scene, described what happened. He told "We could see [constable] Bryan Farquharson getting knocked over in the waves.

"When I ran down I could see Bryan was talking to the boy, who was screaming and crying.

"Between waves I could see that he could touch the bottom. I thought well if he can touch the bottom I'm going out to grab him because I'll be able to touch the bottom too. But when the first wave hit it took me straight off my feet.

He managed to get through the waves and grab Josh, who by that stage was "a dead weight with no fight left in him".

"We were thrown all over the place," Bailey added.

"On one occasion I got up and I couldn't see him. I thought 'oh no, that's it, he's lost'. He was totally submerged but fortunately he banged into my legs as he was getting sucked back out again. That's how I found him again.

"Then we saw the human chain they'd formed and I was able to pass him over."

Joshua was reportedly barely conscious when he was moved up the beach and given first aid before being taken to the hospital.

According to, Joshua's father called Hikiroa Rapatu "our little hero", and praised everybody who helped save his son, saying: "I'm just so thankful for all the people that were there and the police officers, because if they hadn't have gone in our son wouldn't be here today."

Related articles

Video: 'Hero' tourist saves drowning woman from river in China

Video: Group of strangers save drowning woman after car crashes into ocean