Joshua McQuoid, 12, from New Zealand was playing on the beach with a friend, Hikiroa Ratapu, 13, when an aggressive current began to pull Joshua away from the shore, reports the Dominion Post in New Zealand.
The smart-thinking Ratapu raised the alarm at about 4:55 p.m. local time, notifying a group of policemen who were patrolling the beach. The cops acted immediately and began to form a human chain amongst themselves and other beachgoers that successfully pulled Joshua to safety.
Stuff.co.nz added that Joshua's father, Shane, gives most of the credit to Hikiroa:
If he wasn't thinking straight he would have jumped in. We all thanked him and told him what a little hero he was
In that case, there could have been two drownings instead of none.
After Joshua was pulled to safety, though in a state of shock he was physically fine, the 12 year old was taken to a local hospital where he was discharged later that evening. The event also allowed Joshua to take the day off school.
Joshua's dad described in more detail what exactly happened to his son:
I think they had their feet in the water and from what Josh said he turned around to speak to his mate when the wave hit.
It knocked them down, and his mate and another girl managed to haul themselves out of the water but [Josh] got swept in.
Joshua tried to swim to shore but kept getting dragged out and quickly tired while trying to stay afloat as waves broke over him. His exact words were he felt like he was in a 'washing machine.'