The father of a boy who was rescued after passersbys joined police to form a human chain to pull him from heavy surf in Napier yesterday says he cannot believe how close his son was to dying.
Josh McQuiod, 12, had been playing with a friend by the water's edge along Marine Parade when he was swept out to sea just before 5pm.
He was dragged 150 metres along the beach and fought for air for eight minutes.
His father said after seeing footage of his son's rescue he "couldn't believe how close he had come to you know, actually dying".
This was reiterated by Josh, who told ONE News: "When I was in there. I thought I was going to die.
"The waves smashed me so much, there were five really big ones, they flipped me around quite a few times, I was underwater."
At times the boy was underwater for up to 20 seconds at a time and fading fast.
He said it was "like being in a washi
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